Federal investigators piecing together deadly plane crash

7:27 PM, Nov 19, 2012   |    comments
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OWLS HEAD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Federal and local investigators are still trying to figure out why that plane hit a truck on the airport runway in Owls Head Friday afternoon. 

The crash that followed killed all three people on board the plane.  

Two were University of Maine students and one was a UMaine graduate... all members of the Lambda Chi fraternity there.

Investigators say they truck that was crossing the runway at the Knox County Airport, and they say that is not unusual. The airport manager says some airport workers and private pilots are trained to drive on the runway, and are required to use VHF radios to notify airplanes they're doing so. 

The Knox County Sheriff's Department says there was radio communication, but it isn't  clear yet if the plane heard the message. Investigators and others at the airport say they also don't know why the truck and plane did not see each other.   

University of Maine officials say they're doing what they can to support families of the crash victims and the members of their fraternity. The University is planning a public memorial event when students return following Thanksgiving break.

Meanwhile, leaders of the Maine National Guard confirm that the pilot of the plane, William "B.J." Hannigan III of South Portland, was also a member of the Maine Air National Guard.  They say the airplane was owned by an organization called the National Guard Aero Club , but they say it is a private club with no official connection to the Air Guard or Maine National Guard. 


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