Three killed in small plane crash in Leyden

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LEYDEN — A small plane crash in western Massachusetts claimed the lives of three individuals on Sunday, authorities confirmed.

The Beechcraft Baron 55, with tail number N7345R, went down near the Leyden and Greenfield town line around 11:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Greenfield Police reported that there were no survivors.

The Massachusetts State Police have identified the victims as Fredrika Ballard, 53, of Southwick, William Hampton, 68, of Indian Orchard, and Chad Davidson, 29, of Woodstock, Connecticut.

Ballard owned the Fly Lugu Flight School in Westfield, where Hampton worked as a flight instructor and Davidson was enrolled as a student pilot.

The plane, operated by the flight school, had taken off from Barnes Airport in Westfield at approximately 11:06 a.m. FlightAware data revealed that the plane was in the air for 19 minutes and reached a maximum altitude of 4,475 feet before the crash.

Witnesses in the area contacted emergency services after spotting signs of the crash.

The aircraft was eventually located by police at 12:33 p.m. in a wooded clearing near the Leyden Wildlife Management Area.

The local community expressed their shock and sadness over the tragic incident. “It’s very unusual for something like that to happen here,” said Denise Devlin, a Greenfield resident.

Sheri Fuller of South Deerfield also expressed her disbelief, underscoring the rarity of such events in their small town.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the crash.

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