Sunday, June 24, 2018

Cessna A185E Skywagon 185, N2231T: Accident occurred June 23, 2018 in Jefferson, Lincoln County, Maine

http://registry.faa.gov/N2231T





JEFFERSON — A group of about a dozen people worked for hours Sunday to pull a small plane out of a bog a few hundred yards south of the Augusta Road where it had crashed Saturday afternoon.

Jefferson Fire Chief Walter Morris said Sunday that an eyewitness saw the plane, a Cessna 185, flying low over the trees just before 5:30 p.m.

“He thought it would not end well,” Morris said.

The plane, equipped with pontoons, came down in the bog, eventually striking an obstacle, causing it to flip over its nose and land on its roof.

When the Jefferson Fire Department arrived on the scene with 19 firefighters and emergency medical technicians, Morris said, two people had gotten out of the plane and were not injured. They were checked out at the scene.

Because firefighters smelled fuel, the crash was reported to the state Department of Environmental Protection.

The bog is adjacent to Dyer River, which flows into Dyer Long Pond, just west of the north end of Damariscotta Lake, Morris said.

Morris said he did not have the names of the two men in the plane.

A call to the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office was not returned Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration’s registry shows the plane belongs to David Hewitt of Newcastle. Attempts to reach Hewitt Sunday were unsuccessful.

Joe Holland captured the aftermath of the crash on video using his drone.

Holland is the owner of the Jefferson Scoop, an ice cream shop about 3 miles away from the crash site. He was hosting a fundraiser for the Jefferson Fire Department on Saturday when the call of the crash came in.

Holland said he followed the department down the road, and at the request of Morris and with the approval of the Lincoln County Sheriff’s deputy on scene, he put his drone in the air to survey the crash site.

Normally, deploying a drone over the scene of an emergency is illegal, he said.

“The chief asked me to send it up to see if anyone was hurt,” Holland said.

The drone also looked for the presence of leaking fuel and debris, and to help find an optimal route for the first responders to the crash to get back out of the bog; it was not how they went in.

“That’s a bog with no bottom,” Holland said. “Any misstep could get you up to your waist (in the bog).”

Holland said people who live on North Mountain Road reported hearing the plane stall and restart three times before the plane went down.

“It looks like he was heading for Dyer Long Pond,” he said.

On Sunday, Holland said about 15 people were gathered at the bog to pull the plane out, first working to flip the plane right-side up, then pulling the plane across the bog with the help of trucks from Jordan Lumber in Kingfield to draw it close to the road embankment.

Holland has posted the video to YouTube and plans to post a second video of the recovery.

Morris said the crash was reported to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Kathleen Bergen, a spokeswoman with the FAA, said Sunday that the aircraft owner needs approval from the FAA or the NTSB to move the aircraft. The aircraft has to be removed from the water and transported to a hangar at a local airport for the investigation and aircraft owners are responsible for having the aircraft moved.

Story and video ➤ https://www.centralmaine.com









Jefferson Fire and Rescue was having a fundraiser at Jefferson Scoop when Lincoln County Communications called the agency out to a plane crash near Augusta Road about 5 p.m. Saturday, Fire Chief Walter Morris said. The seaplane's pilot and lone passenger, both men, got themselves out of the upside down plane, got checked at the scene by Waldoboro Ambulance paramedics and did not need to go to a hospital, Morris said in a phone interview Saturday evening.

Morris said he had called for equipment to carry the occupants out of the swampy area Dyer Stream runs through, but they were able to walk out.

Names were not available. The two are both from Newcastle, Lincoln County Sheriff's Sgt. Aaron Beck said by phone later.

An Augusta Road motorist reported the crash via cell phone after seeing the plane flying very low then appearing to nose-dive into the swamp, Morris said.

Jefferson Scoop owner Joe Holland aided the effort with his drone that provided an aerial view of the scene; it was the first time the department involved a drone in an emergency, Morris said.

"It was extremely beneficial." Morris has been learning about the help drones can be, including hearing about it at a York County fire chiefs' meeting where it was discussed in connection with the recent 300-acre fire in the Wells-Kennebunk area, he said.

Morris said he may compile a resource list of drone owners willing to help in a response as Holland did Saturday.

"That is a great idea," Holland said in a separate phone interview Saturday night. He has had the drone about a year and has found the technology helpful when he fished professionally across the nation, he said. Holland estimated he had the drone about 400 feet above the crash scene.

He said he'd held the event at the business to raise funds and awareness about the department and all it does. "I feel they're the heroes in town."

Asked what he was feeling that night about having the fundraiser and then using his drone to aid in the effort at the crash scene, Holland said: "It felt awesome to be able to help them in more than one way."

After the crash, the business’s Facebook page had a post reading: “Please pray for all those involved as our first responders make their way out into the swamp.”

Lincoln County Sheriff's Office also responded and was going to take care of notifying the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, Morris said.

He could not see the extent of any damage to the plane, which he believed was still sitting in the swamp that night, he said.

Morris said Maine Department of Environmental Protection was notified of the possibility fuel may have leaked into Dyer Stream. Three firefighters who trudged about half a mile to the crash smelled fuel, but saw no sheen, he said

Story and video ➤ http://www.penbaypilot.com