89-year-old Mass. man found dead in Vermont plane crash

In this Thursday, Nov. 23, 2017 photo released by the Vermont State Police, wreckage of a small plane lies crumpled in a wooded area in Pittsford, Vt., where it is believed to have crashed Wednesday after it was reported missing. Police said Norman L. Baker, 89, of Windsor, Mass., was killed in the crash. He had been flying alone from Pittsfield, Mass., to Middlebury, Vt. (Vermont State Police via AP)
Vermont State Police via AP
Wreckage of a small plane lies crumpled in a wooded area in Pittsford, Vt.

The pilot of a plane that took off from Massachusetts was found dead Thursday in Pittsford, Vt., one day after his plane was first reported missing, Vermont State Police said.

Norman L. Baker, 89, took off from Pittsfield Municipal Airport in Massachusetts around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday and was scheduled to land two hours later at Burlington International Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. No one else was on board the aircraft, a 1966 Cessna that can carry up to four passengers.

Pittsford police first received a call reporting that an aircraft was flying low in the area of Sugar Hollow Road Wednesday around 5 p.m., State Police said. Pittsford is 60 miles south of Burlington.


The caller heard a loud noise and was afraid the plane had crashed, but when police investigated with the help of the FAA, Vermont Civil Air Patrol, and the Rutland Regional Airport, they found no signs of an accident.

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No aircraft was unaccounted for at the time, and there had been no distress signals, State Police said.

On Wednesday around 10:30 p.m., Massachusetts State Police reported that a plane headed to Vermont from Pittsfield was overdue for landing.

Vermont State Police, as well as firefighters from Pittsford, Brandon, and Chittenden, searched the area of Sugar Hollow Road all night and still found nothing, police said. Planes searched from the air Thursday morning but did not locate a crash site.

A Pittsford landowner came across the downed plane by his property in a wooded area off Route 7 around 11:26 a.m. Thursday, police said. The pilot was found dead near his aircraft, which was heavily damaged but identified by its tail number.


The cause of the crash is under investigation by State Police, the FAA, and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The Vermont State Police said Baker, of Windsor, Mass., was headed to Middlebury, which is about 35 miles south of Burlington. He had made the trip from Pittsfield about 20 times, the State Police said.

Alyssa Meyers can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ameyers_.