Flags to fly at half-staff for Portland plane crash victim

Posted July 21, 2010, at 9:35 a.m.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Gov. John Baldacci has ordered that flags be flown at half-staff Thursday in remembrance of one of two men killed in a small plane crash.

Thomas Casagrande, 66, of Portland had served two tours of duty in Vietnam, flying UH-1 Huey helicopters and reconnaissance missions.

The Portland Press Herald reports that, after he retired from the Army, Casagrande served 20 years in the Defense Department as a civil service test pilot, trained to fly more than 190 types of aircraft.

He accompanied pilot Mark Haskell of Brunswick on Saturday on the YAK-52 plane for a flight review.

Investigators say Haskell took all the steps necessary to prepare for an emergency landing.

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