Published DateFREEDOM — A mechanical failure likely caused the crash last month of a small plane piloted by a local optometrist, according to a preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Gary Cole, 71, of Ossipee, was injured when his 1936 Stinson SR-7B N16122 crashed on the afternoon of May 13. The airplane's landing gear struck a log pile at Freedom Wood Yard. Then the airplane landed upside down near a small water body on the woodlot.
The National Transit Safety Board's preliminary report states Cole's airplane had "a total loss of engine power on initial take-off climb." The preliminary report may be different than the final report, states the NTSB.
The NTSB's preliminary report can be found on the NTSB's website ntsb.gov/index.html.
Cole's flight began out of Windsock Village Airport in West Ossipee, according to the report.
"Two witnesses observed the airplane after it departed NH69," states the report. "The airplane was about 60 feet just above the trees, in a rapid descent in the vicinity of Freedom Wood Yard. The witnesses stated the engine was not running and they knew the airplane was going to crash. They immediately pulled their car into the wood yard and got out to look for the airplane. There was no smoke or noise. They ran over a berm and observed the airplane upside down. They immediately called the emergency 911 operator and reported the accident."
Cole has operated Conway Eye Care since 1969. He opened Coos Eye Care in Berlin in 1994.
"Dr. Gary Cole expresses his appreciation to his friends and patients for their concern and best wishes following his plane accident," states his practice's website, conwayeye.com. "Dr. Cole's injuries are orthopedic in nature and his full recovery is anticipated. He is looking forward to returning to work and seeing his patients. In the meanwhile, Dr. Pulsifer and visiting optometrists will be seeing Dr. Cole's patients on both a regular and emergency basis."
Cole could not be reached Tuesday.