NTSB: Aging Part Caused Fatal Maine Plane Crash

May 17, 2013

Federal investigators say an aging part fractured and caused a vintage plane to crash into the ocean off Portland Head Light last summer, killing the doctor piloting the aircraft.

The National Transportation Safety Board says in its report released earlier this month that the 1946 Stinson Voyager suffered “a fatigue failure of the No. 3 piston skirt,” causing a total loss of engine power.

The Sun Journal reports the NTSB says although the piston was overhauled about five years before the accident, the part was more than 65 years old.

The plane crashed about 100 yards from shore June 24. The pilot, 60-year-old Dr. Louis Hanson of Durham, died.

The state medical examiner determined that Hanson died of “blunt force injuries of neck and chest with hypothermia and submersion.”

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