TAUNTON, Mass. (MyFoxBoston.com/AP) -- Officials have identified two men from Massachusetts as the victims of a Sunday morning plane crash at Taunton Municipal Airport.
Investigators identified the men onboard the two-seat plane as 69-year-old John Schmouth, of Brockton and 61-year-old Roland Deslauriers, of Bridgewater. Both men, who were reportedly experienced pilots, died in the crash. It is currently unclear who was flying the plane.
Taunton police and fire crews responded to the airport at about 6:30 a.m. for a report of a plane that had crashed and was on fire. Investigators say the small aircraft crashed on departure.
Officials say a witness reported seeing the plane 50 to 100 feet in the air before it turned right and continued until it crashed.
Investigators say the rudder control gust lock, which keeps the rudder in place when the plane is parked on the ground, was engaged at the time of the crash. They could not say Monday whether or not that contributed to the crash.
The NTSB reports the aircraft was manufactured in 1946. Officials identified the plane as an Aeronca 7AC. The plane was purchased by its current owners on July 31 and may have had a canvas top.
According to the NTSB, the plane's occupants were not required to file a flight plan, and the plane does not have black boxes.
Authorities from MassDOT Aeronautics, the FAA, Massachusetts State Police, Taunton Police Dept., Taunton Fire Dept., and the State Medical Examiner's Office are handling the investigation.
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