LINCOLN, Maine — Two men suffered minor injuries when the plane they were in flipped in crosswinds as they practiced takeoffs and landings at Lincoln Regional Airport on Thursday, the airport’s manager said.
Pilot Jeff Miller and passenger Mark Weatherbee had just landed in a 1966 Maule and were on one of the airport’s two runways, Runway 35, when a slight crosswind “made the plane a little squirrely,” airport manager David Lloyd said.
“They tried to slow down and it just flipped right over,” Lloyd added. “It was on a slow roll forward. There was substantial damage to the plane. Both of them were pretty lucky to walk away from it.”
Paramedics from Penobscot Valley Hospital of Lincoln treated both at the scene, Lloyd said.
The airplane is registered to Richard Tardiff of Kealakekua, Hawaii. Miller was trying to sell the plane for Tardiff, Lloyd said.
Per standard procedure, investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are due at the airport on Friday morning to examine the plane as part of their investigation of the crash, Lloyd said.
The airport made news recently when residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of purchasing a small terminal building, a nearby hangar and about 5 acres at the north end of the runway that was used as a campground near the Penobscot River for about $232,000. About 95 percent of the purchase price will be reimbursed by the FAA and the state.
The town can operate the facility, or town officials could lease the facilities to a private operator who could rent hangar space to pilots, run the concession stand and lounge, build a dock in the river to draw float plane traffic to the airport and run the campground, said Lloyd.
An FAA official who supported the purchase said it would make Lincoln’s airport more competitive with other small state airports. Town leaders have been working for years to make the airport a cornerstone of the town’s economy and build on the several businesses already clustered around it.
Town officials will close the deal within a few weeks, Lloyd said.