Federal officials investigate cemetery plane crash

First responders at the scene of a small plane crash in the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford Nov. 4, 2019. File photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News

NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) – Federal investigators are on the scene of a fatal plane crash in a Massachusetts cemetery.

National Transportation Safety Board investigator Lynn Spencer said Tuesday that investigators will spend about two days at the Rural Cemetery in New Bedford.

A preliminary report is expected in about two weeks.

Westport resident Paul Vidal crashed his Cessna 150 Monday afternoon about 40 minutes after taking off from New Bedford Regional Airport.

Spencer says witnesses report Vidal was in good spirits as he spent about 15 minutes doing pre-flight checks.

She also cautioned against drawing conclusions from video and witness statements suggesting Vidal was doing aerobatic maneuvers.

Vidal’s family says the 74-year-old was a seasoned pilot who loved flying. The Federal Aviation Administration says Vidal was a licensed private pilot since at least 2010.