Aug. 18, Kennebunkport, Maine / Piper Saratoga


At approximately 15:30 eastern time, a Piper PA-32R-301 was ditched in the Atlantic Ocean after an engine failure. The pilot and one passenger suffered minor injuries, a second passenger suffered serious injuries, and two passengers were killed. The pilot said the airplane was in cruise flight at 9,000 feet with the autopilot engaged, when he heard a loud report from the engine compartment and the windshield became covered with oil. The nearest airport was Biddeford, 19.4 miles away. The engine continued to produce some power and the airplane was descending at 500 fpm. The pilot distributed life vests and gave instructions on inflation. As the airplane approached the water, the pilot said he could not flare for touchdown. A swell caught the nose of the airplane and smacked it to the water. The three survivors were rescued by the occupants of a nearby sailboat.


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