Authorities recover body from plane crash near Maine-Quebec border

Posted March 08, 2011, at 11:44 a.m.
Last modified March 08, 2011, at 6:37 p.m.

TOWNSHIP 13 RANGE 17, Maine — The pilot of a small plane that crashed near the Canadian border, killing his passenger, told investigators that the plane broke up after he tried in desperation to land on a frozen bog as his plane experienced icing over the northern Maine woods, officials said Tuesday.

Maine state police and game wardens used snowmobiles and snowshoes Tuesday to reach the site eight miles from the nearest road and retrieve the body of Paul Oberman, 53, of Toronto, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

The pilot, Ryan Isaac, 31, also of Toronto, suffered a broken arm in the crash Monday night and was airlifted to a hospital in Quebec, McCausland said.

The men were returning from Halifax, Nova Scotia, to Quebec when Isaac reported icing problems Monday afternoon, McCausland said. Shortly thereafter, air traffic controllers lost sight of the plane on radar. The plane’s emergency transponder later activated.

The plane crashed in northern Somerset County near Depot Lake. The wreckage was found less than two miles from the Canadian border, about 11 miles north of the Daaquam border crossing linking Maine to Quebec.

Oberman was president and CEO of Woodcliffe Corp., a real estate development company in Toronto, Bonnie Hillman, a family friend in Toronto, told The Associated Press. After being removed from the woods, his body was taken Tuesday to a funeral home in Presque Isle.

The plane was a four-seat Diamond DA40. The cause of the crash will be investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.

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