A pilot flying a single-engine Cessna made an emergency landing at Belfast Airport April 29, after seeing smoke coming from the engine compartment of the plane, followed by a burning smell.

Bryant “Buz” Kuby, of Belfast, was flying just east of Verona Island when he witnessed what he described as a “significant puff of smoke that came out of the front,” momentarily covering the windshield. He then smelled a “distinct burning smell,” but was unable to tell if it was burning oil or electrical in nature.

He had been in the air for around 15 minutes and did not report seeing any more smoke after the initial burst, which occurred when the plane was at an elevation of 2,700 feet. When the smoke had cleared, he said, he climbed to 3,200 feet to allow more time to glide to a safe landing should the engines cut out.

The Belfast Police, Fire and Public Works departments and the Waldo County Sheriff’s Office met Kuby on the ground at Belfast Airport and made a visual inspection of the plane, which is owned by Maine Scenic Airways.

Kuby, who works for the Belfast-based flight school and sightseeing company, said he had been flying for 20 years and had never witnessed anything like what happened.

After the authorities left, he was still unsure what caused the smoke and the burning smell.

“We’ve all sort of stuck our heads in there and we can’t really say what it is,” he said.