Monday, September 29, 2008

Pilot fatally injured in Cape Air accident on Martha's Vineyard

On the evening of Friday, September 26, 2008, a Cessna 402C aircraft operated by Cape Air crashed shortly after takeoff from Martha's Vineyard Airport, Vineyard Haven, MA. According to the FAA preliminary report about the accident, the aircraft was destroyed, and the pilot was fatally injured. The pilot, who was the only person on board at the time of the accident, was identified by Massachusetts State Police as David D. Willey, 61, of Vineyard Haven.

The aircraft (registration N770CA), operating as Cape Air Flight 1055, took off shortly after 8PM local time from Martha's Vineyard, bound for Boston's Logan International Airport. It went down in West Tisbury, just a few miles from the Martha's Vineyard airport. A news article about the Cape Air crash in the Boston Globe quoted a State Police official who said that a nearby house was damaged by debris, but no one was injured on the ground.

An FAA spokesperson, quoted by the Boston Globe, said airport officials reported heavy rain and high winds around the time the plane took off. However, the Cape Cod Times reported that, although the weather had been rainy, "a weather window" emerged between rain squalls when Willey took off.

The Cape Cod Times has published an article outlining David Willey's long and varied career as a pilot. The article includes a photo of Mr. Willey, supplied by his family.

A Memorial Gathering for David Willey was held today. Condolences to David Willey's family, his colleagues at Cape Air, and his friends.