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Ultralight Plane Crashes In Tree In Gnaw Bone

Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011

(GNAW BONE) - Strong winds may have contributed to an ultralight plane crashing in Gnaw Bone Monday morning.

Property owner Jerry Pittman says pilot Chuck Holmes, of Columbus, took off in the aircraft from the private airstrip on the Pittman Farm along State Road 46 and crashed into the top of a tree a few minutes later.

Pittman says he's not sure what happened.

He theorizes that changes in the wind, lack of experience flying that particular aircraft and instrumentation malfunction may have contributed to the crash.

Holmes was not injured in the crash. He waited in the plane, 60-feet above ground, for about an hour before a bucket truck from a private tree service company could lower him to the ground. They also cut way branches so the aircraft could be freed.

Holmes recently completed repairs on the plane, which belongs to Pittman's nephew, Greg Pittman. Monday's flight was the first since the overhaul.

No emergency services were needed, but police arrived to direct traffic that had slowed to see the plane stuck in the tree.

The 325-pound plane sustained damage to the frame and one wing. Pittman said the engine and propeller were not damaged. He says the aircraft will be fixed over the winter and fly again this spring.

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