Unfortunately, I’ve learned a lot in the past few days about airplane crashes in Maine, especially fatal ones. I found out about the deadliest commercial airplane crash in Maine’s history from Stephen Betts’ first-day reporting on the fatal crash Friday in Owls Head that claimed the lives of three University of Maine students.
I have learned about other plane crashes from the National Transportation Safety Board database of aircraft accidents throughout the country. According to information in the NTSB database, there have been 135 fatal airplane crashes in Maine since October 1964, resulting in the deaths of 273 people.
To condense the NTSB data about those Maine accidents, I copied some of it and put it into this spreadsheet
, which lists the accidents according to severity (number of deaths) and by date. The more deadly the accident, the higher up the spreadsheet it appears. For multiple accidents that had identical numbers of fatalities, the more recent ones are listed above those that occurred longer ago.
Where I can, I’ve included hyperlinks to online stories the BDN has published about some of those accidents. Our publicly accessible online archives only date back to 2008 or so. With the August 25, 1985 crash in Auburn – the second deadliest commercial airplane crash in Maine’s history over the past 50 years – I’ve provided a link a to a People magazine story about the death of Samantha Smith, a girl and peace activist from Manchester, Maine, who died in the crash along with seven other people.