AUGUSTA — A roughly 7-pound metal object that officials said was likely a part of a large commercial airplane traveling internationally crashed down from the sky and landed just outside the entrance to the State House on Friday afternoon.

Authorities said a Maine officer just missed being struck by this large metal object outside the Capitol building in Augusta on Friday. Photo courtesy of Maine Department of Public Safety

The object nearly struck Capitol Police officer Craig Donahue, who was walking outside the Augusta building at about 12:30 p.m., when the incident occurred, according to a news release from State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss.

No one was injured.

The Federal Aviation Administration is attempting to locate the source of the part and has sent “awareness notifications” to flights that were traveling over the area at the time.

It’s not clear that the object originated from an aircraft, however.

Paul Cote, of aircraft part supplier Twin City Aero Supply in Bangor, said Monday he’s never seen an aircraft part that looks like the object that struck the ground.


“I’m having a hard time believing that it is even an aircraft part,” Cote said via email after reviewing the photo. “Most aircraft parts are made of aluminum and do not look that worn out.”

Greg Jolda, aviation program coordinator at the University of Maine at Augusta, said Monday that if a part that size were from an aircraft, it would have done damage to an engine or the aircraft it came from.

“I can’t immediately see anything that would indicate that was from an aircraft,” Jolda said. “It would have had to put a good hole in the airplane.”

And if the object had fallen from an airplane, Jolda said, it would have hit the ground with some force.

“If it came from an airplane, it would not come straight down; it would have had some horizontal velocity to it. It would have done some damage,” he said. “If a plane were traveling at 80 knots (92 mph), that’s serious.”

Moss said there was no significant damage to the granite walkway near the entrance to the building, where the object struck.

A request for more information from the Maine Capitol Police was not immediately returned Monday.

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