Plane crash near hotel results in one fatality



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This National Transportation Safety Board officer takes pictures of the crash site where a Cessna 177 airplane landed in the parking lot of the Margate Hotel on Saturday evening. Danielle DeLisle. (click for larger version)
June 17, 2009
A Cessna airplane crashed into the parking lot of the Margate Hotel on Saturday evening, resulting in the death of the pilot.

"The investigation is still ongoing," Detective Eric Bredbury of the Gilford Police Department said Monday.

The call came in to the dispatcher of the GPD at approximately 4:07 on Saturday June 13. An officer was dispatched immediately. Bredbury said the New Hampshire State Police were on the scene in less than a minute because an officer had heard the plane going down from his cruiser. When the officers arrived on the scene the main cockpit of a Cessna 177 was on the grass beside the hotel parking lot and the tail of the plane was resting on a parked car. The officers attended to the pilot's injuries and removed debris from the area. Gilford Fire Rescue was dispatched and upon arrival transported the pilot to Lakes Region General Hospital, where he died of injuries sustained in the crash.

Evidence indicates the pilot, Stephen Cardelli, 50, of southern Portland was in route from Laconia to Portland when shortly after take-off the plane crashed. The National Transportation Safety Board arrived Sunday to assess the scene and begin their investigation into the cause of the crash. The Federal Aviation Association was on the scene Saturday evening.

An autopsy was scheduled for Monday morning on the pilot. Crews worked through the weekend to catalogue and move the debris from the parking and finished the removal on Monday morning. No others were injured in the crash and damage was limited to one car, a lamppost and a tree in front of the hotel.

"The NTSB will conduct the investigation," said Bredbury. "We were in charge of securing the scene and making sure everything was preserved. We don't know how long it will take to determine the cause of the crash; sometimes it can take months."

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