Plane crash in Gilford, NH: A Tragic Incident That Shocked the Community

On July 18th, 2021, a small plane crashed in Gilford, NH, killing both the pilot and passenger on board. The incident shocked the community and sparked an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to determine the cause of the crash.

The Details of the Crash

The single-engine plane, a Piper PA-32, departed from Laconia Municipal Airport at around 10:30 a.m. on July 18th. The pilot, identified as 68-year-old John Everson of Meredith, NH, was accompanied by his passenger, 56-year-old Sharon Kelly of Concord, NH.

The plane was heading to Pease International Tradeport in Portsmouth, NH, when it crashed into the trees on Belknap Mountain, a little more than a mile away from the airport. The crash happened at around 11:15 a.m., and witnesses reported hearing a loud noise before seeing smoke rising from the mountain.

Emergency responders rushed to the scene but were unable to save the two occupants of the plane. The wreckage was found in a heavily wooded area, and the recovery process was challenging due to the terrain.

The Investigation

The NTSB immediately launched an investigation into the crash, with the goal of determining the cause of the accident. Several factors will be examined, including weather conditions, pilot error, mechanical failure, and other possible contributing factors.

The investigation will likely take several months to complete, and a final report is expected to be released in the future. However, the NTSB has already stated that the plane was not equipped with a black box, which could make the investigation more challenging.

The Victims

The two victims of the crash, John Everson and Sharon Kelly, were both highly respected members of their communities. Everson was a retired dentist who was passionate about flying and had logged thousands of hours in the air. Kelly was a real estate agent who was active in her local church and community.

Both Everson and Kelly were remembered by friends and family as kind, generous, and loving individuals who will be deeply missed. The tragedy of their deaths has left a significant impact on the community.

The Impact on the Community

The plane crash in Gilford has had a profound impact on the local community. The incident has sparked an outpouring of grief and support for the families of the victims, as well as for the first responders who were involved in the recovery effort.

Local officials have praised the efforts of emergency responders and volunteers who worked tirelessly to recover the victims and secure the crash site. They have also expressed their condolences to the families of the victims and pledged to support them in any way possible.

The Importance of Aviation Safety

The tragic plane crash in Gilford, NH, underscores the importance of aviation safety and the need for rigorous investigation and regulation in the industry. While flying remains one of the safest forms of transportation, accidents can and do happen, and it is crucial to learn from them and take steps to prevent future incidents.

The NTSB’s investigation into the Gilford crash will provide important lessons for the aviation industry, and it is essential that those lessons are taken seriously and acted upon.


The plane crash in Gilford, NH, was a tragic incident that shocked the community and claimed the lives of two respected individuals. The investigation into the cause of the crash is ongoing, and it is essential that the aviation industry learns from this tragedy and takes steps to improve safety in the future.

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