The plane in Maine lands mainly in the … road?
April 27, 2013 by John McCoy
The plane on Maine Turnpike (AP photo)
I can see the memo to the pilots of the Maine Guide Service now: “Please make sure your plane is fully fueled before taking off.” From the Associated Press:
LITCHFIELD, Maine (AP) — A warden service pilot and wildlife biologist escaped injury during their plane’s emergency landing on the Maine Turnpike about 15 miles south of the state capital Friday. At least one motorist had to pull aside to make way for the plane.
Pilot Dan Dufault had to land shortly before 9 a.m. because the single-engine Cessna lost power, possibly after running out of fuel, officials said.
No one was hurt.
State Rep. Christine Powers of Naples said she was traveling northbound when she saw the plane flying low across the turnpike before landing ahead of her.
“I thought it was strange the way it was gliding. The next thing I saw, it was coming in for an approach,” she said. “I was quite stunned.”
About a half-dozen vehicles were in the vicinity, Powers said, and one motorist pulled over as the plane touched down and approached the vehicle. The plane then taxied off the turnpike and into a former service area.
The warden service’s top officer, Col. Joel Wilkinson, said an investigation will look at a variety of factors. Noting that the airplane was able to take off again from the interstate after refueling, Wilkinson acknowledged it’s “highly likely” the airplane had lost power after running out of fuel.
A search of the Federal Aviation Administration database indicated the plane was a military trainer version of the Cessna 172.