Plane crashes 40 minutes after being sold

Posted July 13, 2009, at 12:25 p.m.

AUBURN, Maine — A Massachusetts man who purchased an airplane from Maine Conservation Commissioner Patrick McGowan was the proud owner for 40 minutes — before it crashed-landed on a golf course.

Brooks Ladd of Chelmsford says he paid McGowan for the airplane with the agreement that McGowan would fly it from Waterville to Hampton, N.H. Ladd says they made it as far as Auburn before the engine on the 1946 Aeronca Champ conked out.

They landed safely Saturday morning at the Fox Ridge Golf Club in Auburn, but the landing gear collapsed, the propeller was bent and the fuselage was damaged.

Ladd says he had insurance for the plane. He says the plane had just been inspected, and he expects that he’ll be reimbursed for the damage.