Members of the Bennington Police Department, Bennington Rural Fire Department, and Bennington Rescue Squad responded to the William H. Morse State Airport in Bennington on a report that an aircraft crashed off of the runway.

Courtesy of Bennington Police Dept.
Courtesy of Bennington Police Dept.

The pilot of the 1967 Piper Cherokee Arrow, Anthony J. LaFranco of Saratoga Springs, had self-extricated himself and was located outside of the aircraft bleeding profusely from a significant head injury.

The aircraft was located in a horse paddock just north of the airport runway.

Courtesy of the Bennington Police Dept
Courtesy of the Bennington Police Dept

A press release from the Bennington Police department says that,

 LaFranco reported the aircraft had suffered engine failure near the airport and he attempted to land the aircraft on the runway. LaFranco advised he was unable to maintain a proper landing speed and fell below stall speed causing the aircraft to impact the perimeter fence.

LifeNet responded to the scene and transported the pilot LaFranco , who suffered a head injury to Albany Medical Center.

Also, the National Transportation Safety Board was contacted concerning the aircraft crash.

After reviewing information from Officers who had digital images of the crash, authorization was able to move the aircraft. It wasn't till late in the evening before they were able to move the aircraft.

Courtesy of the Bennington Police Dept.

The crash is still under investigation, and the Bennington police will be working alongside the National Transportation Safety Board.

Anyone that may have witnessed this incident is asked to contact the Bennington Police Department at 802-442-1030 or

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