HARRISON — Officials say two people are dead after their small vintage airplane crashed in southern Maine.

The Cumberland County Sheriff’s Department said the wreckage of the 1946 Taylorcraft plane was found at 6 a.m. today in a wooded area in Harrison. The pilot and the passenger were dead.

David Wilkie, an aviation safety inspector with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the pilot was 68-year-old George Fortin of Naples. The passenger was 73-year-old Tony Kalinuk of Harrison.

Wilkie said the plane was found in a field off Route 35 in Harrison. It was about 10 feet into a wood area and nose down. Wilkie said it appears the plane hit a tree and went straight down.

The plane was cleared from the field around 11 a.m. Wilkie said the FAA will continue to investigate.

Police received a call Saturday night that a plane that had taken off from the Limington Airport had not returned after picking up a friend at a private airstrip in Harrison. Sheriff’s deputies, game wardens, state police and the Civil Air Patrol searched a densely wooded area in Harrison through a signal from the pilot’s cell phone.

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