A Rumford reserve police officer was killed Friday in a plane crash in Massachusetts, according to Rumford police.

Investigators said Scott Landis, 34, and his brother Patrick, 29, were flying over Hanson, Massachusetts, to spread the ashes of their father, who died recently of cancer.

Airport officials in Massachusetts said they believe the brothers’ plane had engine trouble shortly after takeoff.

Scott Landis was transported to Massachusetts General Hospital, where he died.

Patrick Landis is currently in critical condition at Tufts Medical Center in Boston.

A Rumford police officer who asked to not be identified told the Portland Press Herald that Landis “was a fellow brother and we’re all grieving the loss of a great man.”

In addition to being a reserve officer, Landis was a National Guard Black Hawk helicopter pilot, according to Rumford police.

Peter Oakley, manager of the Cranland Airport in Hanson where the plane crashed, told the Boston Herald that Landis was “a salt of the earth, a great guy.”

“Scott is just a great guy, always willing to help anybody out, do anything, a gentleman,” Oakley said. “I don’t know anybody who’s had one bad thing to say about him.”

Oakley also told the Boston Herald that Landis, a chief warrant officer in the National Guard, was stationed in Kosovo, and had returned briefly when his father died. He was scheduled to return to Kosovo on Saturday.

“We cannot express enough our sorrow in this loss; for our brothers and sisters in Rumford, the Landis family, the community and nation Scott served,” the Maine Association of Police posted on Facebook. “Scott Landis represents what is best about this country; that there are but a few who will answer the call to service.

“The fact that Scott bore the sacrifice and responsibility of TWO uniforms gives us all something to aspire to.”

The official cause of the plane crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. According to the Boston Herald, NTSB spokesman Eric Weiss said a preliminary report is expected in seven to 10 days.

WGME-TV contributed to this report.

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