Pilot Escapes Injury From Plane Crash In French Lick Saturday Afternoon

(FRENCH LICK) – A pilot escaped injury during a plane crash Saturday afternoon near the French Lick airport.

According to the Indiana State Police Jasper Post, on Saturday at approximately 1:37 p.m., a Celestine man crashed a single-engine plane just west of the French Lick Airport.

French Lick Airport

The crash was first reported around 2:09 p.m. when the Orange County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call by neighbors who heard the plane go down in woods near their home.

The pilot then radioed a nearby pilot telling them where he was located and that he was not hurt according to reports.

When Orange County Emergency Response personnel arrived, they confirmed the plane crash and requested assistance from the Indiana State Police in Jasper. 

According to an Indiana State Police report, the preliminary investigation reveals that a 1962 Piper Cherokee single-engine fixed wing airplane, piloted by 70-year-old Johnnie Bush, of Celestine, crashed when approaching to land on Runway 8 at French Lick Airport.

Bush reported he had experienced engine trouble prior to the crash. Investigators do not yet have a cause for the crash. 

Bush was the pilot and sole occupant of the aircraft and was uninjured during the incident.  

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have been contacted and are expected to arrive on Sunday to further the investigation.

Assisting at the scene were the Orange County Sheriffs Department, French Lick Airport Management, French Lick Fire Department, and several neighbors from the area, French Lick Police, Orange County Rural District 1, and IU Health Ambulance Service Orange County.