Scott Landis, a National Guardsman from Hanson, was piloting a single-engine plane, ready to sprinkle his father's ashes with his brother, when the plane's engine lost power on takeoff and crashed into a pond, killing him and severely injuring his brother, according to friends and officials.
"Salt of the earth, a great guy. Scott is just a great guy, always willing to help anybody out, do anything, a gentleman," said Peter Oakley, manager of the Cranland Airport in Hanson, where the plane crashed.
"I don't know anybody who's had one bad thing to say about him."
Friday afternoon, the plane flown by Landis, 34, and carrying his brother, Patrick Landis, 29, crashed shortly after takeoff, Oakley said. He said he could hear the engine lose power on the surveillance video. Landis was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital and died yesterday morning, according to the Plymouth District Attorney's office.
The Landises' uncle, Don Conway, said Friday his nephews were taking off to scatter their father's ashes after he died two weeks ago from cancer.
Scott Landis, Oakley said, was stationed in Kosovo and had briefly returned when his father passed away. Landis was scheduled to return to Kosovo this week, he said.
Landis, who co-owns another plane, was a Blackhawk helicopter pilot and instructor, Oakley and Conway said, and was a chief warrant officer in the Army National Guard.
Landis' LinkedIn page lists him as an aviation safety inspector. Oakley said Landis was married and had a 1-year-old son.
Landis' brother, Patrick, was also seriously hurt, and remains at Tufts Medical Center. Oakley said Patrick Landis is in a medically induced coma and has severe injuries. A GoFundMe page set up by the family states that he is paralyzed from the waist down, having suffered a spinal injury and broken bones in the accident.
The plane, an Aeronca 7AC Champion, according to the Federal Aviation Authority, was built in 1946. It is relatively rare, with only 17 registered in Massachusetts, according to the FAA.
The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. An NTSB spokesman, Eric Weiss, said a preliminary report is expected in seven to 10 days. Oakley said the plane is locked away until investigators arrive on scene.
Oakley said the pilots who fly out of Cranland are a group of close-knit friends who often take short flights to Nantucket, New Hampshire or wherever struck their fancy for Sunday breakfast, a tradition Landis would join whenever he could.
"It's like a big family," Oakley said.
Cranland is home to just a couple of dozen aircraft, according to Oakley, and was the scene of another fatal accident in 2007 when a man piloting an ultralight plane crashed.
This article is written by Jordan Graham from Boston Herald and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.