- Associated Press - Monday, September 1, 2014

NORTH HAMPTON, N.H. (AP) - A small plane attempting to take off from Hampton Airfield crashed into trees on Monday, killing the pilot and a passenger, emergency workers said.

The Cessna 180 with two people aboard came down alongside the runway at 10:50 a.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said. Both occupants were killed, Fire Chief Dennis Cote said.

It appeared to be a normal takeoff until the airplane’s nose pitched up, causing the plane to lose airspeed and lift before it rolled over and fell to the ground, said witness Bob Lamothe.

“It was an amazing thing to see how quickly a plane can drop out of the sky,” he said.

The plane was not participating in the airfield’s Labor Day “flour bomb drop,” a competition going on at the same time in which participants pass over the runway and drop small sacks of flour over a target.

Lamothe, of Hampton, was part of a group that gathered at the Airfield Cafe in anticipation of the flour drop. Conditions were perfect, with good visibility, sunny skies and little wind, as they awaited the start of the event, he said.

The plane crashed about a football field’s length from the cafe, and many patrons ran to help. The plane’s cockpit was “completely crushed” by the impact and only the plane’s tail was intact, he said.

The Federal Aviation Administration, which was investigating the fatal crash, said the plane was registered to a Kingston, New Hampshire, man. No one answered calls Monday to phone numbers associated with him.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be tasked with determining the cause the crash.

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