Pilot Blamed in Samantha Death

Associated Press

Federal investigators concluded today that the pilot of a commuter plane that crashed in Maine, killing schoolgirl Samantha Smith, should not have tried to land after encountering problems during an erratic, rain-hampered approach that was not properly aligned with the airport's instrument landing beacon.

The Bar Harbor Airlines commuter crashed Aug. 26, 1985, just short of the Auburn-Lewiston airport. Among the victims was Smith, the Maine teen-ager whose world peace appeal won her a visit to Moscow and worldwide attention.

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