LIVERMORE FALLS – A Readfield pilot didn’t have time to be nervous Thursday when his plane engine quit while he was flying over Livermore Falls.

“I was very busy,” Phillip Tedrick, 66, said.

He was trying to land his Avid Flyer, an amateur-built, single-engine, fixed-wing plane, in a cornfield off Route 133 in the east section of town.

Tedrick, 66, walked away from the crash in a cornfield with a large bump on his head but was otherwise OK.

“You try to be prepared mentally,” Tedrick said. That is one of the first things they tell you when you learn to fly, he said.

He sat on the bumper of a Livermore Falls firetruck holding an ice bag to his head.

Tedrick had been flying the plane, manufactured in 1993, for the first time since a new engine was installed, he said.

Tedrick told police he had been flying around and landed again at Bowman Airfield, an air strip located not far from where he crashed, Livermore Falls police officer Vernon Stevens said. He landed again and took off and was circling when the engine failed, Stevens said.

“The engine quit and I couldn’t get it restarted, so I didn’t have enough altitude to glide back to the runway,” Tedrick, a pilot of 35-plus years, said. “I took the next best option. Where I hit there was a little rise … I just hit harder than I thought I was going to and the plane tipped upside down. It was kind of a slow motion flip.”

On this type of plane, he said, the wheels are always down.

The plane is valued at $30,000, he said, but he has no insurance on it.

He houses the plane at Bowman Airfield where he is a member of the Bowman Field Flying Club. Medics from a NorthStar Emergency Medical Services ambulance checked Tedrick out at the crash scene before police Chief Ernest Steward Jr. gave him a ride back to the hangar.

Livermore Falls Fire Chief Mark Chretien said firefighters put a pan under the plane to catch gas leaking from the aircraft. They were standing by with Stevens until a Federal Aviation Administration representative arrived to check out the plane.

The aircraft is home-built and made by WM Foley, FAA spokesman Jim Peters said from the New England Region Office located in New York.

Peters confirmed what the pilot said of the 10:40 a.m. mishap.

An investigator will determine whether it will remain an incident or be upgraded to an accident, Peters said.

If the aircraft sustained major damage or someone was seriously injured it will be considered an accident, he said.


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