The sole victim of a fatal plane crash near Fort Williams Sunday was a doctor from Durham who had recently joined Mercy Yarmouth Primary Care after practicing in Cumberland for decades.

Louis Hanson, 60, had taken off from Twitchell’s Airport & Seaplane Base in Turner about two hours before crashing his yellow four-seat 1946 Stinson 108 into the waters off Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth just before noon, according to Dale Twitchell, the airport’s manager.

Hanson bought the plane, called Isabella, about 10 years ago, soon after he started taking flying lessons, said his wife, Julie Tate.

Hanson wanted to fly over Fort Williams as a way of saying “Hi” to his daughter, Elizabeth Walker, who was there for a baby shower. His plane crashed shortly before she arrived, Walker said.

Witnesses said Hanson popped onto the water’s surface soon after the plane hit and as it was sinking. Paddlers and a recreational boater were the first to reach him, but were unable to resuscitate him. Officials have said they don’t believe anyone else was in the plane.

A press release from Mercy Hospital in December, when Hanson joined its Yarmouth office, said he practiced medicine in Cumberland for the 32 years prior.

A doctor of osteopathic medicine, Hanson attended the University of Kansas and then Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, according to the release.

This isn’t the first time this specific plane has made headlines.

In 1967, the plane was used to test an innovative safety system, in which the wings separated from the fuselage and parachutes brought all three parts softly to the ground, according to Aviation Safety Resources, a Long-Island company that’s still working get the technology on the market.

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