(Newser) – An Army National Guard pilot is dead, and his brother paralyzed from the waist down, after the plane they were hoping to use to scatter their late father’s ashes crashed into a Massachusetts pond. On leave from a tour of duty in Kosovo, pilot Scott Landis, 34, had taken to the skies with his brother, 29-year-old Patrick Landis, to spread the ashes over a cranberry bog, reports the Boston Herald. However, the single-engine plane crashed into a pond near Hanson’s Cranland Airport around 4pm. The airport owner cites “engine failure on takeoff,” per NECN. “The engine started slowing down, and [Scott] started to turn to come back, and then you heard the engine drop off.” “We are all confident that he did the best that he thought he could do” given the altitude and speed, a friend adds. “It just didn’t work out.”
It took 15 minutes to free the men, who were trapped in water, as first responders used “sawzalls and hand tools to remove part of the aircraft,” reports NBC Boston. Scott, who reportedly borrowed the plane from its owner, was pronounced dead at a hospital, leaving behind a wife and 16-month-old son who are to receive more than $63,000 raised through a GoFundMe campaign. His brother, who may never walk again, suffered “a broken back and severed spinal cord,” his aunt writes on a separate GoFundMe page that has raised $17,000, per People. The Herald reports his injuries also include two broken collarbones, a broken leg, and two collapsed lungs. Other pilots have offered to complete the sons’ mission to spread the ashes, which were recovered unopened. Their father died of lung cancer.
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