The Investigation Continues after an Airplane Crash in Methuen

The pilot, a former mayor of Newburyport, died when his aircraft crashed through the roof of a condo complex.

Authorities are still piecing together what, exactly, went wrong in Methuen today after a plane crashed through the roof of a building in a condominium complex near an airport.

The pilot, former Newburyport Mayor Alan Lavender, was killed. No one else was injured, authorities say.

Police received reports about a crash at about 1 p.m. yesterday, and first responders quickly doused a small fire that broke out in the building, at the Prides Crossing condominium complex.

Luckily, no one was home at the condo where the plane penetrated the roof, officials said. Neighbors were able to leave the building safely. 

“It’s very unfortunate what happened today,” Methuen Mayor Stephen Zanni said in an afternoon news conference.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are both participating in the investigation, and. The NTSB this morning asked anyone who saw the plane go down to contact them via

In pictures immediately after the crash, the tail of the plane could be seen pointed upward, poking out as smoke poured out of the building’s roof. The positioning of the plane suggests it dropped straight down out of the sky. The cause of the crash has yet to be determined. Officials said the pilot had been attempting to land at the nearby Lawrence Municipal Airport, which sits just across the Merrimack River from the condo building. The aircraft has still not been removed.

This wasn’t the first crash in the area. In 1999, another plane went down near the complex, injuring four people.

#Methuen Update Plane crash invest still on going @johnguilfoil via @ChiefSolomon

— Methuen Police Dept. (@MethuenPolice) February 28, 2017