EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

October 26, 2012

RI couple die in small plane crash on I-93 in NH

Aircraft plunges onto NH highway after wing clips light tower

LYNNE TUOHY
Associated Press

---- — HOOKSETT, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire state police say a man and a woman died yesterday in a small plane crash that left the tail end of the aircraft on the passing lane of northbound Interstate 93 in Hooksett.

The identified the couple killed as a husband and wife from Block Island, R.I., Herman and Doris Hassinger, both 83.

They died after a wing of their single-engine Beechcraft plane hit a light tower alongside I-93 northbound and plunged onto the highway and median below.

No vehicles were involved in the crash, which left the tail end of the plane in the far left lane of the interstate, and the nose on the other side of a guard rail in a wooded median.

State Police Lt. Chris Wagner said one of the two was found dead inside the plane. The other was ejected, “and was some distance from the plane.”

Wagner said state police received the first call about the plane crash at 1:10 p.m. When they arrived, there was no one at the scene who had witnessed the plane go down.

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane had taken off from Nashua and was en route to Laconia.

A spokeswoman for the Rhode Island Airport Corporation said the plane had left Block Island Airport sometime yesterday. No one answered the airport’s telephone yesterday afternoon.

FAA records show the plane was involved in an accident in August 2010 at Nashua’s Boire Field after the landing gear failed. The plane skidded about 700 feet before coming to a rest on its belly.

The pilot was Herman Hassinger and the plane was registered to him.

That same plane was involve in a hard landing at the Falmouth Airpark on Cape Cod in July 1993 and was blown off a runway at Beaumont Municipal Airport in Texas while taxiing behind a much larger plane in 1979, according to FAA records. The records do not identify the owner of the plane on those occasions.

Hassinger, 83, was listed in the 2006 edition of “Who’s Who in America” as CEO of Herman Hassinger Architects in Moorestown, N.J.

The company’s phone number is no longer in service, according to a recorded message.

According to the biography in that edition, Hassinger was born in Germany and was married with three children. Under “interests” he listed aviation and sailing.

Investigators from the Bureau of Aeronautics and the FBI were on the crash scene in Hooksett on Thursday and investigators from the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were en route.