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Pilot believed dead after small plane crashes into Merrimack River



A pilot is believed dead after a small plane crashed into the Merrimack River in Methuen, Massachusetts, on Monday afternoon, fire officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration confirmed in an email that a single-engine Van's RV-6A plane crashed into the river around 2:15 p.m. Monday. Only the pilot was on board, they said.

North Andover Deputy Fire Chief Graham Rowe said that the pilot is believed to be deceased, still inside the plane. Dive teams from Salem and Beverly have responded to assist in recovery efforts.

The plane ended up upside down in the river, between North Andover and Methuen, near Lawrence Municipal Airport. The control tower said the plane took off from their airport and they lost contact with the aircraft shortly before the crash.

The thick vegetation surrounding the river made the crash difficult for first responders to get to with embankments as steep as 12 feet.

Crews from North Andover, Lawrence and Methuen all responded to the scene. While it was initially reported that the crash was in Lawrence, it was determined that the plane crashed on the Methuen side of the river.


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