June 16, 2008

Searchers Recover Two Bodies From Plane Crash Near Portland


A plane that took off from Millinocket airport crashed into the ocean near Portland on Sunday afternoon, killing both occupants.

The U.S. Coast Guard launched a search after air traffic controllers from Brunswick Naval Air Station lost communications and radar contact with the plane at 1:07 p.m. Sunday, 18 miles east of Portland. Rescuers quickly zeroed in on an area where a fuel sheen and debris field were spotted.

Rescue crews recovered the bodies of Edward and Maryann Mainardi, according to the Coast Guard. Federal Aviation Administration records show that the multiengine aircraft was registered to Edward Mainardi of Lincoln Park, N.J.

FAA spokeswoman Holly Baker says the plane - a Cessna 337 Skymaster - had been flying at 8,000 feet en route from Millinocket to Caldwell, N.J. Baker said it did not appear that the plane issued any distress calls before air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot.

The National Transportation Safety Board is expected to take over the investigation today.Joining in the search was a Coast Guard Falcon jet along with vessels from the Coast Guard and state and local responders.

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