‘A good pilot’: Wife says man who died in New Bedford crash loved flying

NEW BEDFORD, MASS. (WHDH) - The wife of a pilot who died after his plane crashed into a cemetery in New Bedford on Monday says her husband always told her that if he found himself in trouble in the air, he’d make sure he wouldn’t hurt anyone else on the way down.

“He enjoyed everything. He loved astronomy, he loved flying,” Carol Vidal said of her husband, 74-year-old Paul Vidal, whose Cessna 150 crashed into a rural cemetery near Rockdale Avenue around 3 p.m.

Carol says she believes her husband of 40 years was doing all he could to make sure he crashed in a way that wouldn’t injure anyone else.

“I remember him saying that he would always do that if he had to come down, to not hurt anybody,” she said. “He was a good pilot.”

There were no other reported injuries.

Video from Sky7 HD showed wreckage scattered all over the ground and a toppled tree.

Chris Peyton told 7NEWS that the pilot appeared to be flying too low to the ground and performing aerial acrobatics before nosediving into the ground.

“It was doing a couple of loopity loops but really too low for the acrobats he was trying to perform,” Peyton said. “As I was approaching the cemetery, he got below the tree line but it was more like a nosedive. I knew at that point he wasn’t going to be able to come out of the trick he was trying to perform.”

Troopers assigned to the Bristol County District Attorney’s Office and the NTSB are investigating.

In the meantime, Carol said all she can do is mourn her husband and wait for answers.

“We had a good life,” she said. “Now it’s over and we have to pick up the pieces and it’s hard you know? He’s not coming home.”

This is a developing news story; stay with 7NEWS for updates online and on-air.

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