GREENVILLE, Maine (AP) — A Canadian pilot reported losing power before his twin-engine airplane crashed in Maine, killing him, his wife and his daughter, officials said Tuesday.
The Piper Aerostar carrying Joseph and Anita Robertson, both 58, and their daughter, Laura Robertson, 24, crashed about an hour and 45 minutes after taking off Monday from Pembroke, Ontario, on a flight to Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, officials said.
The pilot reported losing power before trying to land at the municipal airport in Greenville, the National Transportation Safety Board reported.
It’s unclear what caused the crash. The plane was being hauled Tuesday to a secure location for further examination, investigators said.
The Roberts were prominent in their community, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The parents were active in the United Way and made major financial contributions to a performing arts center; Joseph Robertson also served on the board of Brock University, friends said.
The Aerostar piloted by Joseph Armstrong is a sleek aircraft powered by a pair of Lycoming piston engines that was produced from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s.
It has a reputation as a difficult plane to handle if there’s a stall, and there have been a number of landing approach crashes, said Mike Slack, an aviation attorney in Austin, Texas, who is not involved in the investigation. “It’s safe to call this a challenging airplane, especially in a low speed, stall situation,” he said.
The NTSB plans to be on scene for three to four days as it investigates with federal aviation officials and engine manufacturer Lycoming Engines.
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