Two brothers were badly injured Friday after the small plane they were in crashed near a Massachusetts airport on a trip to scatter their late father's ashes.
The single-engine plane crashed around 4 p.m. into a pond near Cranland Airport in Hanson, trapping the victims inside the wreckage.
Family members have identified those on board as Scott Landis, an experienced helicopter pilot who flies Blackhawks with the Army National Guard, and his younger brother, Patrick. Both are from Hanson and were up in the air to scatter their recently deceased father's ashes. Scott was on leave because his dad passed away.
"From what I understand, they were coming back from spreading the ashes," said Dan Conway, the victims' uncle.
The plane's owner lent the plane to Scott, according to the owner's brother.
Scott was airlifted to Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Patrick was airlifted to Tufts Medical Center in Boston, where he remained in critical condition Friday night. Scott's condition was not known.
Because of the significant damage to the front of the plane, firefighters had to remove the brothers after they became trapped in the water.
"It was heavy, thick brush that we were working with, and mud conditions, along with aviation fuel in the water, so Hanson Police and Hansen Fire worked together to extricate him," said Hanson Fire Deputy Chief Rob O'Brien. "They did have to use sawzalls and hand tools to remove part of the aircraft."
"From the time the call came in to extrication was probably 15 minutes, and they were both taken out simultaneously," said Sgt. Peter Daley of the Hanson Police Dept.
FAA officials say that the aircraft was an Aeronca 7AC Champion, and that they, along with NTSB, will investigate to determine the cause of the crash.