A report of a low-flying plane and possible plane crash in New Portland drew response from eight police and rescue agencies Friday morning, although it turned out to be an authorized landing, not a crash.

A woman in New Portland had reported that a plane was flying low over her house and she was concerned that it might have crashed, said Cpl. Ritchie Putnam, of the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies from the sheriff’s office as well as the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, Maine State Police and several fire and rescue agencies responded around 11 a.m. to search for the plane near Middle Road in New Portland.

“We were actually able to locate a pilot who was landing and taking off in a field right adjacent to her house,” Putnam said. “Nobody was hurt. There was no crash. She was just concerned about the plane flying low.”

Putnam said the pilot knew the field’s owner and was equipped to land on the snow. The sheriff’s office will not be pursing charges, although the incident was reported to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“As long as he’s landing and taking off in a safe manner, I don’t know if there were any rules or regulations violated, although the FAA has been made aware,” Putnam said. “I’m not sure if they’re going to follow up on that part of the investigation or not.”

In addition to the two sheriff departments, the Maine State Police responded with an aircraft to search for the plane. The New Portland and Kingfield fire departments also responded, as well as the Eustis and Carrabassett Valley fire departments with rescue equipment, and NorthStar ambulance service.

The search lasted about two hours.

“She had genuine concern that somebody may have been hurt,” Putnam said of the caller. “Anytime anyone has concerns like that, we want to make sure that it gets reported and we’re going to investigate it fully just to make sure something isn’t wrong.”

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368

[email protected]

Twitter: @rachel_ohm


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