The wreckage of a deadly plane crash into a multi-condo building that claimed the life of a former Massachusetts mayor in Methuen on Tuesday has been removed from the building.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration began investigating the scene on Wednesday.
The plane piloted by Alan Lavender took a nose dive and crashed into the building on Riverview Boulevard around 1 p.m. on Tuesday.
Lavender, who served as the mayor of Newburyport from 2002 to 2003, was killed in the crash, which also started a fire.
NTSB Air Safety Investigator Aaron McCarter said at a press conference Wednesday morning the NTSB will be investigating Lavender, his plane, and the environment at the time of the crash.
The investigation will take place over several days. A preliminary report will be issued in about a week to 10 days.
Officials say Lavender was flying an experimental plan, called a Sonex, that he built himself. There is no black box in the plane, but McCarter said sometimes there is flight equipment that can be helpful during the investigation.
Investigators say the 60-year-old pilot was trying to land at the nearby Lawrence Municipal Airport.
McCarter said the plane is stuck in a precarious position in the building and will be difficult to remove. He said crews will most likely need to disassemble it to get it out. It should be removed by Thursday.
A total of 34 people have been temporarily displaced due to the crash.
The condo complex was the site of another small aircraft crash in 1999.
Witnesses are encouraged to reach out with any photos, video or witness statements at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, Lavender's family released a statement on his death:
"On behalf of our entire family, we wish to express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support we have received from our friends and neighbors in Newburyport since the tragic loss of our beloved Al on Tuesday.
Al dedicated his life to his community. Al and his wife Betty have been active for years as board members with the Newburyport Public Library. A lifelong student, Al believed strongly in the value of education.
We also wish to thank Mayor Donna Holaday and the Newburyport Police Department for their assistance as we come together as a family to celebrate Al’s life."