Customs and Border Protection helicopter makes emergency landing in Houlton

Posted Jan. 20, 2014, at 2:57 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 20, 2014, at 10:11 p.m.

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HOULTON, Maine — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection helicopter was forced to make an emergency landing at Houlton International Airport on Friday evening.

Michelle-Benson Fuller, spokesperson with Customs and Border Protection, said Monday that she could not provide details about what forced the Customs and Border Protection Office of Air and Marine AS-350 helicopter to make its emergency landing at about 8:40 p.m.

Benson-Fuller said that two air interdiction agents were on board the aircraft at the time but neither was injured during the emergency landing.

She said that the Office of Air and Marine is assembling an accident investigation team to visit the landing site shortly.

More information will become available pending further investigation, she said Monday.

Marie Thompson, a Houlton resident who lives near the airport, said that she heard a “very loud” sound while she was watching television on Friday evening.

“I really thought at first that someone’s roof had collapsed under the weight of snow,” she said Monday afternoon. “That was what it sounded like, this loud boom. But it was just once, and then it stopped. I didn’t see any flames or anything.”

Officials at Houlton International Airport could not be reached for comment Monday due to the federal holiday. The general aviation airport, which is owned by the town, has no scheduled airline service and is not always manned.

Other media outlets incorrectly reported that the helicopter belonged to the U.S. Border Patrol. Benson-Fuller said that the agency no longer has any air assets, as they have all been transferred to their sister agency, the Office of Air and Marine.

 

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