Wed, Jun 27, 2012
Rare Stinson S108 Ditched In Casco Bay Off The Coast Of Maine
The pilot of an airplane that was one of the first to feature an airframe parachute died after the plane went down in Casco Bay only 100 yards from shore on Sunday. The pilot reportedly got clear of the airplane and started swimming towards shore, but faltered in the water, and rescurers were unable to revive him with CPR.
The airplane was a Stinson S108, also called a "Voyager." (Similar airplane pictured in file photo) Manufactured in 1946, it was designed to have explosive charges separate the wings from the airplane in the event of an emergency, and a parachute would carry the fuselage to the ground. The process was documented in an FAA-sanctioned test filmed in 1967.
According to the Associated Press, the pilot was Dr. Louis Hanson of Durham, ME. Witnesses said that Hanson was seen swimming away from the plane after it went into the water, and a helicopter dropped a floatation device to him. But he was unresonsive when he was pulled from the water onto a boat, and CPR efforts to revive him were unsuccessful.
The airplane is in about 60 feet of water. Coast guard officials say it is posing neither a navigation or an environmental hazard, but it will be raised by the NTSB as part of their investigation of the accident.
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