Pilot Allen Spaulding dies in crash on Cuttyhunk Island

Pilot Allen Spaulding dies in crash on Cuttyhunk Island

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Station Menemsha responded to the report of a plane crash on Cuttyhunk.

Updated 6 pm, Wednesday

The pilot of a single-engine, 1965 fixed-wing Maule Bee Dee M-4-210 died when his plane crashed about 9:15 am in a wooded area of Cuttyhunk on the westernmost of the Elizabeth Islands after taking off from a private airstrip Wednesday morning

State Police late Wednesday identified the pilot as Allen P. Spaulding Jr., 70, of Wilmington, Delaware. He was the sole occupant of the plane, police said.

The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing by the State Police, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration, the National Transportation Safety Board, and the Massachusetts Aeronautics Commission.

Because Cuttyhunk is part of the town of Gosnold and one of the seven Dukes County towns, the 911 call from a fisherman on the beach who heard the impact of the crash was routed to the Dukes County Communications Center, Dukes County Sheriff Mike McCormack told The Times.

The Communications Center alerted Up-Island emergency first responders and routed calls for assistance. One piece of equipment not immediately available on Cuttyhunk was the “Jaws of Life,” he said.

Mr. McCormack said the plane apparently clipped the tops of some trees after takeoff.

Coast Guard Station Menemsha first launched a 25-foot, small response boat to carry Tri-Town EMS to the island. The 47-foot motor lifeboat followed, carrying Chilmark firefighters and extraction equipment.

Air Station Cape Cod sent an H-60 helicopter to assist rescue efforts, a Coast Guard First District spokesman told The Times Wednesday.