Biddeford couple who lost home to plane crash will rebuild

Firemen work at the scene where a small plane crashed into a house near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport Sunday evening. The Federal Aviation Administration said at least one person in the plane died in the crash.
Gregory Rec | AP
Firemen work at the scene where a small plane crashed into a house near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport Sunday evening. The Federal Aviation Administration said at least one person in the plane died in the crash.
Posted April 11, 2011, at 4:47 p.m.
Last modified April 11, 2011, at 5:48 p.m.
This still image from cell phone video provided by Sheila Gagne Conley shows the wreckage of a small plane atop a house on fire near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport Sunday evening, April 10, 2011. The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot of the plane died in the crash.
Sheila Gagne Conley | AP
This still image from cell phone video provided by Sheila Gagne Conley shows the wreckage of a small plane atop a house on fire near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport Sunday evening, April 10, 2011. The Federal Aviation Administration said the pilot of the plane died in the crash.
Kim Myers, left, holding her dog Jeneva, stands with her husband Steve Myers, right, as she talks to a reporter after a plane crashed into their home near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport. The plane, arriving from Florida to pick up a passenger, clipped a tree and crashed into the Myers' home about an hour after they picked up their dog and went to dinner at a relative'??s home. The plane's pilot was killed.
David Sharp | AP
Kim Myers, left, holding her dog Jeneva, stands with her husband Steve Myers, right, as she talks to a reporter after a plane crashed into their home near the Biddeford, Maine, Municipal Airport. The plane, arriving from Florida to pick up a passenger, clipped a tree and crashed into the Myers' home about an hour after they picked up their dog and went to dinner at a relative'??s home. The plane's pilot was killed.

BIDDEFORD, Maine — A couple whose home was destroyed when a small plane crashed into it plans to rebuild on the site, less than a mile from an airport.

Kim Myers said she and her husband, Steve Myers, like the location and always enjoyed watching the planes buzzing to and from Biddeford Municipal Airport.

“We’d sit on the deck on a Saturday or Sunday morning and watch them fly over,” she told The Associated Press on Monday.

On Sunday night, a twin-engine Cessna clipped a tree, crashed through their roof and came right into the living room, where they would have been watching TV if they hadn’t been invited out to dinner, she said. The ensuing fire gutted the house.

The plane’s pilot, whose body was taken to the state medical examiner’s office in Augusta for identification, was the only casualty.

The pilot reported no problems to air traffic controllers before the crash, National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said. The weather was clear at the time, but it began raining later.

Because the plane’s tail number was destroyed in the fire, there was initial confusion about the plane and its destination.

At first, state officials incorrectly said the Cessna 402B was flying from Tampa, Fla. After sorting through the confusion, fire marshal’s office investigators said Monday the plane was flying from White Plains, N.Y., just north of New York City, to Portland when it crashed.

The pilot intended to land in Biddeford to pick up a passenger, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

Earlier, the plane had received fuel on Nantucket Island, off the Massachusetts coast, Nantucket Memorial Airport manager Al Peterson said.

Federal Aviation Administration records indicate the plane was registered to a corporation in Nantucket, Mass. FAA records indicate its registration expired on March 31, but it’s possible there was a paperwork problem, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said. The investigation will determine whether it was properly registered, he said.

The Cessna 402B can be configured for up to nine seats. On Monday, Steve and Kim Myers were waiting for the plane to be removed so they could go inside the house.

Firefighters told Kim Myers that some of their possessions escaped destruction, including a couple of strong boxes and her husband’s beer stein collection. Virtually everything else was wiped out by the fire, which was so intense that much of the aircraft disintegrated.

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