Firefighters put out the flames after an aircraft crashed into some trees near Route 1 in Arundel, the fire department said.
Two Maine men died Wednesday afternoon when their single-engine plane crashed in a wooded area of Arundel near Route 1.
Eldon Morrison, 81, of Yarmouth, was piloting the Beechcraft Bonanza A36, and Paul Koziell, 55, of Scarborough, was a passenger, York County Sheriff William L. King Jr. said in a statement Wednesday night.
The plane went down around 1:55 p.m. in a wooded area just north of Sam’s Road in Arundel and directly across from Wiers Motor Sales, 1513 Portland Road, King said.
King said the men died on impact.
King said the airplane is owned by CPM Constructors of Freeport, a well known contractor that recently finished work on Exit 45, the new Maine Turnpike interchange in South Portland.
CPM Constructors’ webpage identifies both men as leading executives of the company and posts their photographs. Morrison is the founder and chief executive officer of CPM, while Koziell is the company’s president.
The company’s profile states that Morrison founded CPM Constructors in 1985. The family-owned company has served as a general contractor on a diverse array of projects for the past 37 years, from bridge, pile driving and rail to historic rehabilitation and marine construction across Maine and northern New England. Clients have included the Maine Department of Transportation, turnpike authorities, cities and towns, utility companies and boatyards.
CPM’s airplane left the Biddeford Municipal Airport around 7:42 a.m. Wednesday and flew to Presque Isle before returning to Biddeford, King said. It left Presque Isle around 12:19 p.m. and was scheduled to land in Biddeford at 1:56 p.m. according to FlightAware, an online flight tracking system.
Jerry Beaulieu, Arundel’s fire chief said in a phone interview Wednesday night that “there were two souls on board and they are deceased.” No other individuals or personal property were affected by the crash. Beaulieu said the National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation and would have investigators at the crash site Thursday.
The plane crashed near the Biddeford Municipal Airport around 1:55 p.m., said a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration in a statement sent to the Press Herald.
The plane crashed while on a landing approach to the airport, Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB, said in an email Wednesday night. Knudson expects more information to be made available Thursday. The NTSB will be assisted by the FAA in the investigation.
When firefighters from Arundel, Biddeford and Kennebunk arrived at the crash site, the plane was burning. It crashed in a wooded area off Sam’s Road, near Route 1 in Arundel. Arundel Fire Capt. Nathan Howe said no one was transported to a hospital following the crash.
The first firefighters on the scene saw smoke coming from the woods and found the crash site more than 200 yards into the tree line, Howe said.
Firefighters initially responded to a report of an explosion on the dead-end road, which intersects Route 1 and is about 300 yards south of Log Cabin Road.
“There was a fire that we extinguished but it did not threaten any objects or structures,” Howe said.