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Flight school owner, student pilot among dead in Massachusetts small plane crash

BOSTON (AP) — The owner of a flight school and a student pilot were among three people who died in a small plane crash in a remote, wooded area of Massachusetts over the weekend, state police said Monday.

Fredrika Ballard, 53, of Southwick, Massachusetts, owned the Fly Lugu Flight School while William Hampton, 68, of Indian Orchard, Massachusetts, was a flight instructor. Chad Davidson, 29, of Woodstock, Connecticul, was a student pilot on the flight that crashed Sunday. They were the only occupants.

No one could be reached at Fly Lugu for comment.

The twin-engine Beechcraft Baron 55, which took off from Barnes Airport in Westfield at approximately 11:06 a.m. Sunday crashed near Leyden, Massachusetts. Authorities began searching the crash site in Leyden Wildlife Management Area near Greenfield around 11:30 a.m. after several dog walkers reported seeing a plane crash.

All three passengers were found dead inside the plane by the Greenfield Firefighters and American Medical Response paramedics.

Federal Aviation Administration Aviation inspectors responded to the crash site Sunday and a National Transportation Safety Board investigator was expected to arrive Monday, state police said.

State police said the crash remains under investigation.