Crash occurs half mile from Sebewaing airport

Crash occurs half mile from Sebewaing airport

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This is the remains of the aircraft that crashed Monday.

Published: Tuesday, October 19, 2010 3:57 PM EDT
By STACY LANGLEY
Tribune Staff Writer

SEBEWAING —Two lives were claimed after a single-engine airplane crashed and then caught fire Monday afternoon in a farm field a just a half mile south of the Sebewaing Airport.

There was very little left of the 1991 yellow and white Super DeCathlon two-seater aircraft registered to a Lapeer man, according to Huron County Sheriff Kelly J. Hanson.

As of press time, Hanson and his deputies were working to identify the two people who were killed following the crash around 5:49 p.m. in the field of corn stubble near Bay Street and Liken Road.

“A witness reported she observed the plane experiencing engine trouble just prior to the crash,” Hanson said Monday night. “The NTSB (National Transportation Safety Board) has given us the authority to remove the bodies from the aircraft (wreckage) and conduct autopsies to determine the exact cause of death.”

Tom Cresswell, a professional aerial photographer and commercial pilot, witnessed the aircraft at the airport just prior to the crash at around 5 to 5:30 p.m. Monday.

“I witnessed the plane come in (to the airport’s runway), fly down, reduce power, all of which was normal. It touched down, a bit hard, but it was under control,” Cresswell said. “The aircraft taxied back to the north end where it sat idle for a few minutes facing north. Still nothing unusual. He (the pilot) applied full power and took off and I went back to what I was doing. I was tying my plane down, when a fellow drove in, he asked me what the smoke was as he pointed off in that direction, coming from the field. Moments later, I noticed the fire trucks and I walked down this way (about a half mile from the airport) and saw what it was.”

The crash remains under investigation by the Huron County Sheriff’s Office. Assisting the sheriff’s deputies Monday evening at the scene were the Sebewaing police, fire and ambulance, Fairhaven Township police, Huron County Medical Examiner Dr. Richard E. Lockard and Sebewaing Airport Manager Dennis Montei.

Montei said the aircraft apparently only touched down briefly at the Sebewaing Airport and originated from another airport. The aircraft’s destination was not known.

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