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Service planned for Woburn pilot who crashed off Orleans

A photo of the plane owned by Roger Dale Mills
A photo of the plane owned by Roger Dale Mills

The family of the Woburn-based pilot killed in a private plane crash off Orleans last week will hold a memorial service tomorrow in Indiana.

Roger Dale Mills, 66, flew from his birthplace of Seymour, Indiana to Reading, Pennsylvania on the afternoon of Oct. 31. Thirty minutes after that four-hour flight, Mills took off for Chatham. He gave no distress call before his single-engine plane crashed into the Atlantic about 7 p.m., less than two hours after takeoff.

An obituary says the crash happened because of either "a catastrophic plane failure or an unknown health issue." FAA records show Mills's last medical date was Nov. 2019.

A two-day Coast Guard search off Nauset Beach turned up no sign of the 1979 Piper Dakota, but State Police divers found most of its wreckage 80 feet beneath the ocean last Thursday. They did not find Mills.

Mills retired in 2015 from the Middleboro-based medical technology company Hologic, where he served as senior vice president of customer service.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.

Patrick Flanary is a dad, journalist, and host of Morning Edition.