The National Transportation Safety Board has released a preliminary report on the plane crash in Biddeford that killed a pilot and destroyed a home on April 10, but the report sheds little light on what might have caused the crash.

The report, compiled by investigator Shawn Etcher, describes the flight leading up to the crash that killed Edward L’Hommedieu, 71, of North Yarmouth.

L’Hommedieu took off in the twin-engine Cessna that morning from Portland, flew to Nantucket, where the plane’s owners live, then flew a passenger to White Plains, N.Y.

L’Hommedieu was flying back to Portland when he requested permission to change his destination to Biddeford.

The plane flew past the south end of the Biddeford Municipal Airport at about 1,000 feet. Then, about two miles from the approach end of the runway, the plane was seen turning right, then slightly left in the direction of the airport.

The plane was traveling at about 69 knots at an altitude of 400 feet when the air traffic control radar recorded its last information from the plane, seconds before it crashed.

The plane apparently had plenty of fuel, having had all four tanks filled in Nantucket, for a total of 115 gallons, the report said.

As it crashed, the plane hit four trees ranging in diameter from 3.2 inches to 8.75 inches at a height of about 25 feet, the report said.

The plane then crashed into the roof of 235 Granite St. Extension, a single-story house about 1,500 feet northeast of the edge of the runway.

The plane erupted in flames, which destroyed the house and damaged much of the aircraft, including the nose, the cabin and the left wing. The left engine was inside the house and the right engine and wing were visible on top of the house.

The NTSB now can test some of the plane’s flight components to determine whether any malfunctioned.

L’Hommedieu’s son, Christopher L’Hommedieu, has said that based on reports he heard from witnesses, he believes one of the plane’s two engines shut down during the approach to the airport.

His father restarted the engine, but not before the loss of power had fatally affected his flight path.

L’Hommedieu was a former Air Force pilot who flew B-52s during the Vietnam War, and served as a flight instructor, the operator of a small regional airline and a pilot who delivered aircraft.

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

[email protected]


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