Helicopter used to access plane crash scene
Owls Head — A Maine Forest Service helicopter was used to access the scene in the Owls Head woods where three people died Nov. 16 in the crash of a small plane near the Knox County Regional Airport.
Airport and local airline officials and the Knox County Sheriff's Office assisted the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the cause of the crash. The State Fire Marshal's office had also deployed its Mobile Command Center to the scene off Dublin Road in Owls Head Saturday morning, Nov. 17.
Some growth in the woods was actually cut back by rescue workers to make it possible to land the helicopter closer to the place where the Cessna 172 plane crashed shortly after taking off from the airport's primary runway, according to the Knox County Sheriff's Office.
Hearses from Burpee, Carpenter & Hutchins Funeral Home in Rockland arrived at the scene on the morning of Nov. 17 to transport the bodies of the victims in the crash.
The crash was reported at 4:44 p.m. Nov. 16. While authorities have not released the names of the people involved, what is known is that three people occupied the single-engine Cessna as it went down runway 1331, picking up speed for take-off.
As it was traveling down the runway, the plane struck a pickup truck that was crossing its path, according to Airport Manager Jeffrey Northgraves. Airport officials said the pickup truck, a Chevy S10, was driven by a pilot, who uses the airport. The pilot had been involved in putting another plane away in a hangar.
After colliding with the truck, the Cessna continued its take-off, reached an altitude of about 100 feet before crashing into the wooded area off Dublin Road and catching fire. The three people in the plane were killed in the impact.
The plane was headed north at the time of the crash.
Officials said Friday night the plane was not a Cape Air or Penobscot Island Air vehicle, which are the local airlines using the Knox County Regional Airport.
The Cessna 172 is a small, four-passenger plane.
The FAA investigators working at the scene are out of the Portland office.
So far, police have not released the names of anyone involved in the crash, including the driver of the pickup truck. Knox County Sheriff's Office Chief Deputy Tim Carroll said Nov. 16 it was too early in the investigation to determine whether any charges would be filed. The crash caused front-end damage to the truck, but the driver was not hurt in the incident.
We will continue to work on this developing story and provide more information as it becomes available.