Responders gather on Sam’s Road in Arundel near the site of a plane crash in the woods on Oct. 5. A preliminary report says the plane was flying too low during its approach for a landing before the crash. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

A preliminary investigative report into a fatal plane crash in Arundel shows the aircraft was flying too low when it made its final turn toward the runway in Biddeford.

Eldon Morrison, founder and CEO of CPM Constructors. Photo courtesy of CPM Constructors

The preliminary information was released by the National Transportation Safety Board, but the report does not say why the Beech A36 single-engine plane crashed about a mile away from Biddeford Municipal Airport.

The crash killed the pilot, Eldon Morrison, 81, and his passenger, Paul Koziell, 55. Both men were executives of CPM Constructors of Freeport, and were returning from a business trip to Presque Isle, according to the preliminary report. Morrison, of Yarmouth, was the founder and CEO of CPM Constructors. Koziell, 55, of Scarborough, was CPM’s president.

Investigators found that as Morrison turned toward the runway to land, the plane was about 550 feet off the ground when it should have been 750 feet higher, at around 1,300 feet. The plane had also slowed to 58-60 knots, or about 69 mph, which is close to its stall speed.

Paul Koziell, president of CPM Constructors. Photo courtesy of CPM Constructors

The weather also appears to have been a factor in the crash. Light rain, fog and a low cloud ceiling – about 700 feet to 1,000 feet – meant Morrison was landing with only his instruments to guide him. Although he was certified to fly in those conditions, doing so is more challenging than when skies are clear and visibility is greater.

One witness who lives below the flight path told investigators the aircraft sounded like it was “low, loud and steady,” the report said. The man ran to his window to look for the plane but the clouds obscured it. Visibility was not good, the witness said.


“It sounded as usual, just lower and louder,” the unnamed witness said.

The preliminary report also referenced Morrison’s flight experience. He had logged 2,514 hours in the air, of which 977 were in the same make and model aircraft as the one that crashed. The plane itself, built in 1991, had flown for 3,953 hours when it last passed an inspection in November 2021.

The early examination of the wreckage showed the flight controls, which move the rudder and ailerons, were functional except for some sections that appeared to have broken in the crash, and the plane’s engine showed early signs that it had not failed catastrophically.

According to the FAA, over 45% of all general aviation accidents occur during a plane’s approach for landing.

The men had left Biddeford Municipal Airport for Presque Isle around 7:42 a.m., landed about 9:13 a.m., and spent about three hours on the ground before taking off to head home at 12:19 p.m., according to flight data recorded by

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