ARUNDEL – A flying teacher and his student escaped serious injury when the single-engine plane they were in developed a problem and crashed when they attempted to return to Biddeford Airport Friday night.

Richard Whicker, 58, of North Berwick, was taking his student, William Hart, 50, of Lyman, for a training flight when the problem developed shortly after taking off, said Maj. William King of the York County Sheriff’s Office.

Whicker took the controls and tried to return to the airport, King said, but told officials that he did a “controlled crash” when it was clear the plane could not make it back.

Both Whicker and Hart walked away from the crash, in a heavily wooded area off Proctor Road near U.S. Route 1, King said. They called 911 to report the crash, he added.

Both were taken to Southern Maine Medical Center to be checked out by doctors, but neither was believed to have any serious injuries, King said.

In addition to local fire and police units, the Maine Department of Environmental Protection responded because the plane was leaking fuel. King said he believes the leak is plugged and DEP will return today to take the rest of the fuel off the plane.

King said he doesn’t know the nature of the problem that developed on the plane, but said the Federal Aviation Authority has been contacted and investigators are expected to inspect the plane today.