CUMBERLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- We're learning more about the pilot who died in a plane crash just off the shores of Portland Headlight Sunday afternoon, and about the plane he was flying.
Dr. Louis Hanson, commonly known in his town of Cumberland as Doc Hanson, crashed in front of a number of summer visitors around noontime Sunday in Cape Elizabeth.
Hanson was Cumberland's local doctor for years.
NEWS CENTER's Bill Green had the chance a few years back to interview Hanson about his unique plane, a 1946 Stinson Voyager. The plane was once a piece of aviation history; it's original owner, Dario Manfredi, invented a system that would blow the plane apart - landing the fuselage and wings seperately and safely. It was a design Manfredi was hoping would help prevent deadly crashes.
Unfortunately, it didn't help Hanson, the plane was fused together as a normal frame by the time he bought it.
Hanson himself, leaves behind quite the legacy, there's even a cafe on the corner of Main Street, named after him.
Many people in Cumberland remember him as a man who would always help no matter what time of day it was, and sometimes didn't charge for his visits, if someone couldn't afford his services.
An autopsy on Hanson's body is scheduled for Tuesday morning. As for his plane, officials say it's up to the family to decide whether to salvage it, or leave it at the bottom of the ocean.
Both Mercy Hospital and Dario Manfredi have released statements on the death of Dr. Hanson:
"My family, members of the Aviation Safety Resources team and I are deeply saddened by the death of Dr. Louis Hanson in a tragic airplane accident yesterday. Dr. Hanson was a wonderful, kind and accomplished physician whose loss will be felt by everyone who was lucky enough to know him. Our hearts go out to his wife, his family and his friends. Mixed with our sadness is frustration that the safety technology, in which his plane played a critical role, is not yet available to pilots. If the ASR TriChute Safe Landing System was on his plane we would have had a very good chance of speaking with Dr. Hanson today to learn about what happened. In his memory, we pledge to redouble our efforts to bring this life-saving technology to market and will not stop until the unnecessary loss of life in General Aviation accidents is averted once and for all." -- Dario Manfredi, President, Aviation Safety Resources
"We are stunned and saddened by the tragic loss of Dr. Louis Hanson, a physician at Mercy Yarmouth Primary Care and a beloved member of the Mercy community. Dr. Hanson was a skilled and caring physician and brought special warmth to all with whom he came in contact, including his Mercy colleagues. We grieve for Dr. Hanson's family, and for his many patients and friends." -- Susan Rouillard, Mercy Hospital