Army Pilot Dies in Plane Crash While Trying to Scatter Father’s Ashes

Site of plane crash after two brothers scattered their father's ashes from the plane, Friday August 24, 2018 Photo courtesy Massachusetts State Police
Massachusetts State Police
KATHERINE RODRIGUEZ

An Army pilot died and his brother suffered serious injuries on a trip to spread their late father’s ashes throughout the sky Friday when their single-engine plane crashed into a Massachusetts pond.

Scott Landis, 34, died from his injuries at Massachusetts General Hospital and his brother Patrick Landis, 29, is in critical condition at Tufts Medical Center following the Friday afternoon crash in Hanson near Cranland Airport, NBC Boston reported.

NECN reported that the single-engine aircraft, an Aeronca 7AC Champion, crashed into the pond and trapped the two victims inside. Firefighters had to remove the brothers from the wreckage when the aircraft became trapped in the water.

Scott Landis, an Army National Guard member and experienced helicopter pilot, had been on bereavement leave from a deployment in Kosovo due to his 70-year-old father’s passing. The Army pilot was expected to return to his post on Saturday.

The two brothers had made the solemn, fateful journey to scatter the ashes of their father, Richard Landis, after his passing two weeks ago, said the victims’ uncle, Dan Conway.

Federal and state officials are investigating the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board said investigators arrived at the scene of the crash on Saturday.

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