Army pilot on leave dies in plane crash while scattering dad's ashes with brother

Scott Landis and his wife. (Photo: Facebook courtesy of Scotty Landis)
Scott Landis and his wife. (Photo: Facebook courtesy of Scotty Landis)

A bittersweet story took a tragic turn on Friday afternoon when a small plane crashed in Hanson, Mass. Two brothers had reportedly been on board the plane to scatter their late father’s ashes. But now, the plane crash has led to even more loss for the family.

The plane’s pilot, Scott Landis, was one of the two brothers, who were the only people on the plane. He died on Saturday after suffering injuries during the crash, Boston 25 News reported. Scott Landis’s brother Patrick is in critical condition at Tufts Medical Center, according to the news outlet.

The plane apparently crashed into water near Cranland Airport in Hanson, Mass. Boston 25 reports that the two men were recovered from the plane and taken to two different hospitals, Tufts Medical Center and Massachusetts General Hospital.

Don Conway, the Landis brothers’ uncle, told CBS Boston that the pair’s father died two weeks ago after battling cancer. Scott Landis had apparently been on leave from the Army to memorialize his father by scattering his ashes when his untimely death occurred. Scott and his wife share a son, according to his Facebook page.

Conway said Scott has plenty of piloting experience. “Scotty is a very established pilot, so it couldn’t have been pilot error because he’s meticulous when he flies,” Conway told Boston 25 News.

As for what might have caused the crash, the FAA told CBS Boston that the National Transportation Safety Board is looking into what could be the “probable cause” for the fatal event. The investigation is ongoing, but CBS Boston reported that the airport manager suggested that “engine failure on takeoff” may have been a factor. Whatever the reason for the crash, the Landis brothers’ attempt to honor their late dad has sadly become another tragic event for the family.

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