Initial report finds no cause for fatal New Hampshire plane crash

Raquel Erhard – Fourth Estate Cooperative Contributor

Hooksett, NH, United States (4E) – Preliminary findings on the fatal crash last month of a single-engine airplane that took off from Boire Field in Nashua, New Hampshire have determined no mechanical reason for the accident.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board, the plane’s engine and controls appeared to be functioning when it crashed last October 25. The pilot, 83-year-old Herman Hassinger, and his wife, Doris were killed.

The document published Thursday stated the Beechraft A36 diverted from its course 10 minutes after take off and 17 minutes before it struck a light stanchion and slammed on Interstate 93 in Hooksett.

No one was injured on the ground but the highway was closed for hours.

The report said the automatic transponder was lost when the plane turned around. Air traffic control in Boston, who was contacted by the pilot just after leaving from Nashua en route to Laconia, tried to get in touch with the pilot multiple times via radio to check the plane’s altitude, but there were no response.

The plane had been flying at 5,500 feet and vanished from radar just before the 1:06 p.m. crash.

Hassinger reportedly took off from his home airport in Block Island, Road Island and was going to Laconia. They stopped at the Nashua airport, where the pilot was seen to be in good spirits.

The report stated that after the wreckage was transported to the NTSB facility and investigated, no obvious engine problems were found. The cylinders had compression, magnetos produced spark and the spark plugs exhibited normal wear and all of the control systems for flaps on the wings and tail worked normally. The landing gear was not lowered.

News 9 said Hassinger’s pilot license revealed he was medically cleared to fly last year, however, there is a restriction that states he needed to wear glasses.

Pilots over the age of 40 are obliged to undergo a physical every two years to have their license renewed.

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