OLD TOWN, Maine — A Maine Forest Service helicopter did not crash land at Old Town’s municipal airport despite claims on social media. 

Maine Incident Alerts — a Facebook page followed by nearly 10,000 people — posted Thursday afternoon that there had been an “aircraft crash,” at Old Town’s Dewitt Field. But Chief Ranger Pilot John Crowley of the Maine Forest Service said there was no crash, only a hard landing during a training exercise. 

“It was not a crash by any means, I’m not sure where that’s coming from,” Crowley said.

The Forest Service was doing its annual emergency procedures training that involved “touch-down auto rotations” which is when a pilot rolls the throttle to turn the engine down to idle and glide out of the sky onto the runway, he said. 

It was during this maneuver the helicopter touched down harder than it normally does, bending the landing gear underneath, Crowley said. 

Both the pilot and instructor were uninjured and new landing gear has already been placed on the helicopter.

Next, there will be an inspection of the aircraft to make sure there is no other damage, according to Crowley. 

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Sawyer Loftus

Sawyer Loftus is a reporter covering Old Town, Orono and the surrounding areas. A recent graduate of the University of Vermont, Sawyer grew up in Vermont where he's worked for Vermont Public Radio, The...