PITTSFIELD — A Windsor pilot flying out of Pittsfield has been identified as the victim of a fatal crash after his plane went down in Vermont on Wednesday.
Vermont State Police said 89-year-old Norman L. Baker took off from Pittsfield on Wednesday and intended to make a routine flight to Middlebury, Vt., but crashed in Pittsford, Vt.
Baker was the only person in the plane, which was not discovered until Thursday, after multiple searches, according to a statement released by Vermont State Police on Thursday night.
It is not clear why the 1966 Cessna crashed, and the investigation is ongoing.
Police described Baker as an experienced pilot who had made the journey from Pittsfield to Middlebury 20 times. An autopsy will be conducted at the Chief Medical Examiner's Office.
A resident in Pittsford called 911 at about 5 p.m. Wednesday to report seeing a low-flying aircraft and then, after it continued out of sight, hearing a loud noise that could have been a crash.
First responders, including Pittsford Police and Vermont State Police, canvassed the area but found no wreckage.
The Federal Aviation Administration, Vermont Civil Air Patrol and the Rutland Regional Airport reported no unaccounted aircraft and no distress signals from any planes in the area, according to police.
At about 10:30 p.m. Wednesday, Massachusetts State Police reported a plane that had left Pittsfield but never arrived in Middlebury.
The report prompted the Vermont State Police Search and Rescue Team to coordinate another unsuccessful search — again focused in Pittsford — with firefighters from the Pittsford, Brandon and Chittenden, Vt., fire departments.
Early Thursday morning, a Vermont Army National Guard helicopter and multiple planes from the Vermont Civil Air Patrol flew overhead, but again found no evidence of the crash.
On Thursday, the crash site was reported to police at about 11:30 a.m. by a local resident who had scoured his property after learning of the missing plane.
The plane had come to a stop near U.S. Route 7 in the town of Pittsford near Whistlestop Lane, police said. Baker was found dead near the plane.
Adam Shanks can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, at @EagleAdamShanks on Twitter, or 413-496-6376.