Crash of Vintage Yakolev Plane Kills Two in Portland, Maine
Two people were killed on Saturday afternoon when the small plane they were on crashed in a parking lot near Portland International Jetport (PWM), city and federal officials said.
The fixed-wing single engine aircraft, a Yakovlev Yak-52 (N52MY), crashed at around 3:30pm local time in the parking lot of a Staples office supply store, located at 443 Western Avenue in South Portland.
Portland city spokeswoman Nicole Clegg said the non-commercial aircraft was carrying two people when it crashed, shortly after take-off. “They both perished in the crash,” she said.
The Staples parking lot at Western Avenue is located just a few hundred feet from Portland International Jetport.
Federal records showed the aircraft was registered to Mark H. Haskell of Brunswick, a town in Cumberland County, Maine. It was not immediately clear if he was one of the casualties.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), as well as the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), will investigate the cause of the crash. The South Portland Police Department is also assisting.
According to a website created by Mark Haskell, the registered owner of the aircraft, he and his wife purchased the Yak from the Romanian Air Force in 2001 and dubbed it “Lizzy-Lou” in honor of their daughter. It was restored at the Aerostar S.A. factory in Romania where new Yak-52s continue to be built.
(NYCAviation contributed to this report)