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3 people killed in western Massachusetts small plane crash

3 people killed in western Massachusetts small plane crash
3 people killed in western Massachusetts small plane crash 02:43

GREENFIELD – Three people were killed Sunday during a small plane crash in western Massachusetts on the border of Greenfield and Leyden.

According to officials, a small plane went down in the Leyden Wildlife Management Area approximately two hours outside of Boston. The scene is now blocked off by police as investigators make their way to the crash site. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will lead the extensive investigation, starting with sifting through the pieces of what the agency said is a Beachfront Baron plane. NTSB will start at the crash site before transporting the plane to a secure facility for further evaluation focusing on how and why the plane crashed.

"This will come down to two questions. Was it a mechanical issue or a pilot issue," said airline pilot and aviation expert Patrick Smith. He said investigators will look at the wreckage, background check the pilot and look at maintenance records but there's another factor likely to slow the investigation.    

"One thing that makes smaller plane crashes more difficult for investigators is the lack of on-board flight recorders," said Smith.

The small plane may not have built in recordings but NTSB says they will be searching for any independent electronic devices that may contain evidence. They'll also consider outside factors.

"The weather could have a role in this but weather in and of itself doesn't cause planes to crash," says Smith.

According to the NTSB, small planes for personal or business transport crash more often than commercial air carriers. In 2019, 1,220 small planes crashed, killing 233 people. Forty commercial air carriers crashed, killing two.

The victims killed in the Greenfield plane crash have not yet been identified.

Anyone who witnessed the crash or has surveillance video is asked to contact the NTSB at

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