4 injured as Dover-Foxcroft business owner overshoots runway
By Diana Bowley, Of the NEWS Staff - DEXTER — A Connecticut pilot with Maine ties overshot a runway on approach at the Dexter Airport on Monday and crash-landed his new corporate jet.
The pilot, Douglas Schumann, 58, of Southington, Conn., and two of his three passengers, identified by local police as his brother William Schumann, 62, of Southington, Conn., and Anke Stinson, 53, of Naples, Fla., suffered extensive injuries and were taken to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor.
Douglas Schumann, owner of PQ Controls Inc. of Dover-Foxcroft, an electronics firm, was later transferred to another facility, according to an EMMC spokesman. The spokesman said William Schumann was in good condition. Stinson was undergoing surgery at press time, and her condition was unavailable.
A third passenger, Bart Guthrie, 38, of Kensington, Conn., and Naples, Fla., was taken to Mayo Regional Hospital in Dover-Foxcroft, where he was treated and then released.
A small dog in the Cessna Citation Jet C525 was killed in the 10:30 a.m. crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash and was on scene Monday afternoon. Weather was not believed to be a factor.
Jim Peters, a spokesman for the FAA’s New England Region, said Schumann departed Connecticut on an instrument flight rule plan and was tracked by radar. Schumann talked with the tower at Bangor International Airport about 10 miles out from the Dexter airport, at which point he canceled his flight plan and proceeded on visual flight rules, meaning he was flying by sight.
Skid marks on the tarmac and a small stretch of grass were all that indicated that a plane had missed its mark. Beyond the marks, about a hundred feet across an access road in a weeded area, lay the two-engine white plane. It was demolished, according to officials.
Schumann basically “came in too late and ran out of room,” on the 3,000-foot runway, said Sgt. Jim Emerson of the Dexter Police Department. Fuel was leaking from a small crack in the fuel tank and the injured pilot was hurrying to shut down the engines when Emerson arrived at the scene. The passengers, who were “coherent, but in shock,” were outside the aircraft. Two of them suffered quite serious injuries, he said.
Emerson said the accident could have been much worse if the plane had crashed into the small roadway, which is carved between two embankments for access to the wastewater treatment plant, or if it had collided with the berm, an earthen mound. He believed the aircraft seated six to eight people.
Ron Gray, who lives about 200 yards from the airport, did not hear the crash because he was running a saw in his barn. When he observed the firetrucks and police cars, he surmised it was a plane crash and went to the scene. Gray said that when he arrived, he found an injured woman sitting in the back of a pickup truck. She told him she had crawled out of the airplane.
“She was as calm as a kitten” considering the circumstances, he said. He said she had facial lacerations and a possible broken ankle and nose. “She was a tough lady, beat up as bad as she was,” Gray said.
Brenda Gnade, who lives on Route 94 on the opposite side of the runway, said she heard a loud revving of engines as she walked to retrieve her mail from her mailbox. “It was really, really very loud,” she said, during a telephone call.
According to Roger Nelson, the airport manager, Schumann is an accomplished pilot who regularly flies in and out of the unattended Dexter airport during visits to his Dover-Foxcroft electronics plant. He said Schumann, who also owns a similar business in Bristol, Conn., normally flies into the airport alone. He said the plane that crashed Monday was a new one.
“The winds were down here; there shouldn’t have been a problem,” Nelson said. And he said the line of sight from the air was good. “It appears he came in a little high,” Nelson said. “Definitely, the man is very lucky to walk away from this,” Nelson said, considering the damage done to the front of the plane.
Dexter firefighters and Corinna and Mayo Regional Hospital ambulances responded to the crash.
The crash site was secured throughout the evening and will remain so Tuesday morning, according to local police.
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