The pilot of the plane that crashed Sunday into a house in Biddeford was in contact with air traffic controllers in Portland as he approached the Biddeford Municipal Airport but issued no emergency distress call, federal aviation officials said Monday.

Federal investigators have begun examining the fiery crash that killed the pilot when the twin-engine Cessna he was flying clipped a tree and landed on the roof of 235 Granite St. Extension at 6:05 p.m. No one was home.

Authorities did not provide the pilot’s name and said the state medical examiner was still working to confirm the identity. Police said they may have to resort to DNA analysis to do so.

The body was recovered from the plane’s fuselage Sunday night, and an autopsy was done Monday, but the cause of death remains under investigation.

The pilot was the only person in the Cessna 402B, a twin-engine model capable of carrying 10 people.

The plane was based in Portland and flew to White Plains, N.Y., before making a return flight to Biddeford, said Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the state Fire Marshal’s Office, which is assisting in the investigation.

The pilot planned to pick up a passenger in Biddeford and then continue to another destination, McCausland said.

Neither McCausland nor officials with the National Transportation Safety Board or the Federal Aviation Administration could say when the flight left Portland or what its final destination was.

The pilot was flying under visual flight rules and did not need to file a flight plan, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman for the NTSB. The weather was good, he said.

The pilot did communicate with air traffic controllers during the flight, and his plane appeared on the radar screens of air traffic controllers in Portland, said Paul Bradbury, director of the Portland International Jetport. Those air traffic controllers lost contact with the plane when it crashed.

The plane’s registration expired last month, but Jim Peters, an FAA spokesman, said that doesn’t necessarily indicate problems with the plane.

Last year, the FAA required new registrations for all general-aviation aircraft. The owner of the Cessna was supposed to get a new registration by the end of January.

The paperwork may have been submitted but not yet added to the agency’s database, Peters said.

The plane was registered to a Nantucket company, My Plane LLC, but it had been based in Portland for some time, according to authorities and the manager of the Nantucket Memorial Airport. The plane was built in 1977.

The NTSB is now in charge of the investigation. Soon after arriving Monday afternoon, the NTSB investigator was suspended over the house on a Biddeford Fire Department ladder truck so he could take photographs of the scene.

The wreckage of the plane was then removed and taken to the Biddeford Municipal Airport, where it will be studied.

The homeowners, Kim and Steve Myers, said they plan to rebuild on the site, less than a mile from the Biddeford airport. Kim Myers said they like the location and enjoy watching the planes buzzing overhead.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

Staff Writer David Hench can be contacted at 791-6327 or at:

[email protected]

 


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