Plane crash in Hyannis; stolen pit bull; several area crashes

hyplane1aPlane crash off Kalmus Beach
It was carrying an advertising banner
Story by T Caldwell & W Brooks

HYANNIS - Officials were quickly at the scene Saturday of a plane crash in the waters a half mile off Kalmus Beach in Hyannis.

The plane went down shortly before 1 pm carrying an advertising bannerWHDH-TV has a video of the crash here.

hpilotThe pilot, Matthew Benard, 27, of Melrose, (seen here with Hyannis Fire Captain Eric Farrenkopf), the only one on board was rescued uninjured. He has been a licensed pilot for five years. Salvage crews moved to the scene immediately to try to prevent fuel from leaking in the water as the plane began to sink.

The plane took off from Plymouth Airport.  Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Arlene Murray said. "He was towing a banner and had some type of engine problem," Murray said. 

The plane a 1969 Champion single engine craft was registered to Dylan Aviation Incorporated, of 18 Buckingham Dr., Sandwich. An employee at the company did not have any information.

hssaChristy Mihos, the independent gubernatorial candidate, was on the deck of his Cape Cod home on Great Island in Yarmouth directly east of the crash site. He told The Boston Globe that he about to bite into a roast beef and blue cheese sandwich when he saw the plane go into the water. Mihos and his son sped to the scene in his own inflatable and said he never did get to finish that sandwich.

Others reported that the plane flew just a few feet over a man paddling in a kayak, and according to police touched down on an isolated part of Kalmus Beach three times before it crashed nose first into the ocean, not far from hundreds of stunned beach goers.

Plane in towSandy Griffin, a nurse's assistant from Falmouth, managed to take pictures as her 26-year-old daughter screamed and her 23-year-old son sat in stunned silence.

Saturday evening the plane was raised and put on a flatbed truck and towed to a hangar where investigators from the FAA and Mass Aeronautics Board will try to determine the cause of the crash.

The procession of the plane escorted by several cruisers turned heads and caused several temporary road closures including Yarmouth Road and part of Route 28 for a short time. 

Same scenario yesterday on the Jersey Shore
Ironically another banner-towing airplane pilot is recovering from severe burns suffered when the single-engine craft crashed in Egg Harbor Township New Jersey about the same time yesterday. Police believe the plane, a 1962 Piper P-A-25, was changing banners at its base when it crashed and burned. Posted on 8/05 at 2:00 PM; updated on 8/06 at 10:00 AM; Scene shots courtesy of Frank Paparo/NEVN, plane in tow courtesy of courtesy R. Copley.

Police look for stolen pit bull
- Police are looking for a suspect in an unusual theft. Sometime Thursday someone forced the kitchen door of a residence on Buckwood Drive and stole a pregnant blue nose pit bull. They also took a silver plastic pellet gun. The pit bull named Princess is described as very friendly but is due to deliver her puppies on Monday. Authorities say Princess is worth $10,000 and her puppies $1,500 each. Anyone with information is urged to contact Det. Russell Giammarco at (508) 775-0445. Posted on 8/05 at 2:00 PM.

State Police investigate rollover crash
- Two people were treated and released after their vehicle rolled on its roof on Route 6 in Sandwich. The crash happened about 6 AM in the median strip on the eastbound side. State Police are investigating. Posted on 8/05 at 6:30 AM.

Cruiser struck in Eastham
EASTHAM - An Eastham cruiser was stuck by a car early Saturday morning by an alleged drunk driver. Eastham Police were trying to stop a Volvo SUV when it collided with a second cruiser that reports say had become disabled. The driver of the Volvo 38-year old Brian Coughlin of Reading, MA was arrested after a brief chase and charged with operating under the influence of alcohol. No one was hurt in the crash. Posted on 8/05 at 5:00 AM; updated on 8/06 at 10:00 AM.

Barnstable Police seek hit & run driver
BARNSTABLE - Barnstable Police are looking for the car and driver who reportedly hit a seasonal worker from Nepal as he rode his bike home Thursday night. According to the Cape Cod Times 30-year old Chhodha Lama a dishwasher at the Mattakeese Wharf Restaurant was headed home when he was struck on his bike and suffered two broken legs. Through a translator authorities learned the two women in the car allegedly got out looked at Lama who said "hospital" and then got back in their car and left the scene. Lama dragged himself a distance until a customer coming out of the restaurant saw him and called 911. Lama was taken to Cape Cod Hospital and transferred to Brigham & Womens Hospital in Boston. Police ask anyone with information to call them at (508) 775.0387. Update: police charge West Yarmouth woman with leaving the scene of this crash (see story August 8th). Posted on 8/05 at 8:00 AM.

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