Massachusetts man killed in Vermont plane crash

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PITTSFORD, Vt. (WCAX) "It's just wreckage strewn about everywhere," Alexis Miller said. "The largest piece I saw was the cockpit."

Courtesy: Vermont State Police

Miller described finding the horrific aftermath of a single-engine plane crash. The scene was along a ridge line about a quarter of a mile into the woods next to her family's Pittsford cabin.

"There's insulation hanging from trees, there's just little tiny pieces that are maybe the size of a shoebox," she said.

Miller and her dad went out early Thanksgiving morning to search after hearing news reports that her neighbors reported a possible crash nearby the night before. A Civil Air Patrol plane had been searching the area, as well, going off tips of a low-flying plane, described as a white Cessna 172 with maroon trim.

Reporter Tyler Dumont: You actually saw something?
Mike Solari: I saw the plane, well, I saw a plane go overhead.

Solari lives on Sugar Hollow Road not far from the crash scene.

Tyler Dumont: Anything come to your mind at that time?
Mike Solari: No, it was just lower than normal, that's about all I can say.

WCAX News was there as rescue crews and Vermont State Police troopers arrived soon after the plane was found. Authorities confirmed shortly after that the pilot-- the only person on board-- was found dead nearby. Late Thursday afternoon, they identified the pilot as Norman Baker, 89, of Windsor, Massachusetts. Police say Baker was an experienced pilot who had been flying since he was 13 and they have no reason to believe he was unfit in any way.

Officials say Baker was headed to the Middlebury State Airport over 20 miles away from Pittsford. In a statement, the FAA said: " ... the pilot was flying on visual flight rules and was not receiving air traffic control service. A concerned friend or relative reported that the Cessna departed from Pittsfield Municipal Airport in Massachusetts at about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday... and was scheduled to arrive in Middlebury two hours later."

Police say Baker had successfully done the trip from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, to Middlebury, Vermont, about 20 times.

"I get the feeling that they were probably coming home for the holidays," Miller said. "And I feel really bad for whoever it is, their family, and my thoughts are with them."

The NTSB says it is sending an investigator to the crash scene to determine what happened.