Pilot of small plane dead after crash into a Massachusetts river

LAWRENCE, Massachusetts (AP) — A small plane crashed into a Massachusetts river Monday, killing the lone pilot onboard, authorities said.

The plane plunged into the Merrimack River near the town of Lawrence at about 2:15 p.m., authorities said.

Graham Rowe, the North Andover deputy fire chief, said the pilot's body remained in the overturned aircraft in several feet of water and that emergency responders were at the scene.

“We do have dive team members in the water trying to assess everything," Rowe told reporters. “The plane appears to be intact.”

He said the plane had taken off from the Lawrence Municipal Airport, but because it wasn't a typical commercially constructed plane authorities had limited information about the aircraft. He added that he didn't know how long it had been in the air or where it was headed.

The Federal Aviation Administration identified the plane as a single-engine Van’s Aircraft RV-6A.

Van's Aircraft produces kit airplanes that are often amateur-built and assembled at home.

Authorities did not immediately identify the pilot.

Television video footage showed the plane upside down in the river as an emergency fire crew responded in a boat.

The FAA said it would participate in an investigation into the crash led by the National Transportation Safety Board.