PITTSFIELD — Two men were injured when a plane belonging to U.S. Customs and Border Protection Air and Marine Operations experienced engine trouble and crashed Wednesday night in Burnham after they tried to land at Pittsfield Municipal Airport, officials said.

The plane is a single-engine Cessna 206. The two crew members on board were from the agency’s Air and Marine Operations organization, according to Stephanie Malin, branch chief for the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office of Public Affairs northern/coastal region.

Malin said the plane was conducting “border security operations” when it experienced a suspected engine failure, but said she could not give further details.

The crew, whose names have not been released, were forced to make an emergency off-field landing near the airport.

Both were injured in the crash but able to walk away from the wreckage, Malin said.

One of the men called 911 and gave information on the location of the crash, which was in a wooded area along the Sebasticook River in Burnham, said Steve McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.


Both were taken to Sebasticook Valley Hospital in Pittsfield, where one was treated and released while the other was taken to Boston for treatment of more serious injuries, McCausland said.

The Federal Aviation Administration will conduct the crash investigation.

Air and Marine Operations is one of three main branches of U.S. Customs and Border Protection, with the other two being the Office of Field Operations and U.S. Border Patrol.

The general purpose of Air and Marine Operations is to assist with border security and sometimes with search and rescue missions, Malin said.

In 2017, Air and Marine Operations enforcement actions resulted in the seizure or disruption of about 269,790 pounds of cocaine, 384,230 pounds of marijuana, 5,721 pounds of methamphetamine, 1,089 weapons and $26.1 million in cash; 2,573 arrests; and 37,009 apprehensions of illegal aliens, according to the agency’s website.

Other agencies that went to the crash site were Maine State Police, Pittsfield police, the Somerset County Sheriff’s Office, the Maine Warden Service, the Pittsfield Fire Department and Redington-Fairview Ambulance.


On Thursday morning, Burnham Fire Chief Charlie King could be seen near the crash site, speaking with game wardens who arrived in a boat at a staging area on the Sebasticook River along Peltoma Avenue in Pittsfield.

Vehicles from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection were also at the scene.

Rachel Ohm — 612-2368


Twitter: @rachel_ohm

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