Benjamin C. Ingraham

CUMBERLAND – Benjamin C. Ingraham, 31, of Cumberland, passed away Tuesday, March 30, 2021, in Cumberland, of metastasized renal cell carcinoma.

Born to Curtis B. and Elaine F. Ingraham of Cumberland, Ben grew up in and attended Cumberland/North Yarmouth schools.

Ben will be greatly missed by Mom and Dad; significant partner, Heidi Gerstberger of Round Top, N.Y.; uncle William Ingraham and Ellen Ross of Oxford, Fla.; aunt and uncle, Lisa and Dick Romeo of The Villages, Fla., aunt, Jane Eaton of East Greenwich, R.I., uncle and aunt, John and Nancy Fossett of North Palm Beach, Fla., aunt and uncle, Michele and Darren Spear of Cumberland; cousins, Eric and Chris Romeo, Megan Tarling, Jason and spouse Stephanie Eaton, Robert and David Eaton, Anastasia Foster, Travis and spouse Kaitlin Spear, Nicholas Spear; his dog Bailey; and countless friends at MSAD51, Cumberland Fire Department, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Portland International Jetport, Cape Air, and JetBlue Airways.

Ben was a four-year letter recipient in tennis, enjoyed remote control planes, boats, and drones, building custom firearms, motor boating, motor-cycling, fat-tire bicycling, pickleball, video games, fishing, golf, competitive shooting, and 3-D printing

Since 2003, Ben served as a “call-company” Cumberland firefighter and was part of the Cumberland Fire Department’s Heavy Rescue crew which specialized in patient extrication from vehicle accidents, mass casualty incidents, kids stuck in swing sets, and much more.

Aviation was Ben’s primary avocation and profession. He held FAA ratings of Student, Private, CFI/Instrument, Remote Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems, Airplane Single Engine Sea, and Airline Transport Pilot-Multi Engine Land. Ben was a voluntary armed law enforcement officer deputized by the Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Flight Deck Officer program.

Ben attended the Federal Aviation Administration’s Aviation Career Education (ACE) Academy all four high school years. After receiving his Private Pilot’s License at the age of 16, but before getting his driver’s license, he taught classes at these academies as an advisor, took students up for a real flight, and become a co-program manager during his senior year. Model rocketry with Ben became the students’ favorite part of the academy.

During college year summers, he assembled the first commercial flight simulator at Portland International Jetport-PWM. He also taught “ground school” for new student pilots of all ages. Ben interned at PWM guided by the jetport’s director, marketing, communications, and security managers. This is where he learned the operations of an airport facility. He also assisted planning and running the annual air shows.

In 2012, Ben obtained his B.S. Aeronautical Science degree from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University (ERAU), Daytona Beach, Fla. He was a four-year member of the ERAU National Intercollegiate Flying Association flight team and was their chief student pilot. He was co-captain of this team with his good friend Michael Kelly of Illinois. Ben competed in the categories of navigation, short-field approach and landings, power-off landings, pre-flight inspections, and message drop. In 2011, he earned the NIFA National Top Pilot award for ERAU-Daytona. In 2013 he was the “coach” for ERAU’s National Flight Competition Team at SAFECON.

After college, Captain Ben “BING” Ingraham, flew for Hyannis Air Service (Cape Air). He was based out of Bar Harbor and Augusta; Lebanon, N.H.; and St Kitts and Nevis, British Virgin Islands destined to Puerto Rico. In 2015, he became the new service commercial seaplane pilot based out of Miami, destined to Bimini, Bahamas. The JetBlue University Gateway Program allowed him to transition to JetBlue Airways in 2018 as a first-officer commercial pilot. He was based out of Logan in Boston and flew Airbus 320/321 equipment.

Ben and his friends spent many good times around their fire pits. His MSAD51 classmates Steve Talbot, David Collins, Sam Ferguson, Pearl Ezzio, Adam Copp, and many others remained close over the years.

Ben loved traditions. An annual favorite was the New Year’s Eve skiing and snowboarding pilgrimage to Ferguson’s house in Sunday River, Bethel. This is where he discovered golden retrievers. He leaves behind Bailey, his beloved 4-year-old puppy. Both know they will eventually be interned together.

Visiting hours will be held from 4 to 7 p.m. at Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth, ME 04096 on Tuesday, April 6.

A live or virtual celebration of life gathering will be held later this year. A private interment of his ashes at Pine Grove Cemetery in Falmouth will be later in the spring.

A donation in lieu of flowers may be made to the “Benjamin Ingraham Aeronautical Scholarship Foundation”

(which will benefit aspiring aviators in Cumberland, North Yarmouth, Yarmouth and Falmouth)

and may be sent to

Michele Spear, Treasurer; c/o Atlantic Federal

Credit Union

327 Main St.

Cumberland, ME 04021

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