Air National Guard A-10 Thunderbolt II "Warthog" Crashes in Williamstown


January 20th 1999 around 2010hrs an Air National Guard A-10 Fighter plane returning to Barnes Air Force Base in Mass from night maneuvers at Fort Drum crashes in an area of woods bound by Kaine Road, Co Rt. 30, CC Road and Co Rt. 17. The pilot managed to negotiate the plane to a wooded area before ejecting preventing any injuries or deaths and major property loss. Williamstown FD responded with the assistance of the State Troopers, Orwell Fire Department, Battalion 4 Snowmobile rescue and NOCA Ambulance and staged at Co Rt. 30 & CC Road. With a heavy smell of fuel in the air an evacuation of Kaine Road, CC Road & Co. Rt. 17 was issued. Upon arrival of Air National Guard Official it was confirmed there were only 30mm rounds in the quantity of around 450 on board when the plane crashed. The Williamstown FD turned over operations to the military and offered assistance in anyway possible. The Fire Department helped by the State Troopers assisted in containing the area until approx. 1730hrs on the 21st. Selected members of the WFD with knowledge of the area assisted in locating the crash site. Hot meals were provided 3 times a day to all people assisting with the incident, including those who were out in the field by the WFD. This continued for one week. The National Guard also was allowed the use of the WFD's meeting room to use as a Command Post.

The Site of the Crash

Crash site

Cause of the Crash

It was later determined that the crash was caused by faulty Velcro strips used to hold equipment in place.

On June 17th, 1999 the 104th (home of the plane) and the 174th (unit responsible for crash site) held a community picnic for the town at the fire station. The 174th presented the Fire Department with a plaque containing a piece of the wreckage and thank you. The 104th presented the Fire Department with a plaque with a nighttime picture of an A-10 and thank you. The 174th also presented similar plaques to the Environmental Cleanup company and the 104th.

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Last updated on 03/29/00 12:18 PM