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Small plane crashes in Eaton, kills pilot

At about 2:30 Tuesday, a landowner in Eaton discovered a small plane wreck and one deceased person on his property while riding a recreational ATV.

"I noticed from the road this shiny things in the woods," Jim Christensen said. He initially thought it was a tent, but upon closer inspection saw the wreckage of a small plane. "It was all in pieces," he said.

Christensen is a Syracuse resident with a summer dwelling in Eaton on Hatch Lake.

Christensen also saw the body of a deceased male among the wreckage, who he described as middle-aged.

He estimated the crash had happened in the previous 24 hours.

Troop D Captain Francis Coots said that the plane took off from Norwich Lt. Warren Eaton Airport in Chenango County at 4:30 p.m. Monday, and that emergency services had been looking for the plane since Monday evening.

Troopers secured the area last night so that the FAA could take charge of the crash investigation.

Coots said they couldn't be sure of the model of the plane, citing damage making it difficult to identify.

Late last night, troopers tentatively identified the pilot as 56 year-old, Bernard Laferriere from St. Gerard-Des-Laurentides, Quebec, Canada.

The State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation along with the Forensic Identification Unit from Troop D in Oneida and the Federal Aviation Administration are on-scene and will continue to investigate the crash, troopers said. Eaton firefighters initially responded to the 911 call.

Madison County E911 Communications Director Paul Hartnett said Tuesday afternoon that no planes had been reported missing, though he said he heard a report out of Chenango County that a light aircraft may have been missing from there for a day or two.

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