Two perish after plane takes off from Bloomington and crashes in Shelby County

SHELBY CO. – On Wednesday, November 22, at 4:50 p.m. several Indiana State Troopers, along with Shelby County deputies and other first responders were called to the area of 6300 North County Road 325 West near Shelbyville, after reports of a plane crash.

When emergency responders arrived they could see smoke coming from the middle of a cornfield. As they got closer they could see what appeared to be a severely damaged small aircraft with heavy smoke.

After the fire was extinguished, the remains of one adult man were visible in the wreckage and the remains of a second adult male were located soon after. 

Warren Bruhl

Gambit Aviation, where Warren Bruhl was employed to teach students how to fly, confirmed in a Facebook post he had been killed in the crash. Bruhl was a chiropractor and a commercial pilot who taught East African youth the basics of flying so they could pursue aviation careers.

Nathan Finney and flight instructor Warren Bruhl were the only people on board the Cirrus SR 22T when it crashed in a cornfield on November 22 near Shelbyville Municipal Airport about 25 miles southeast of Indianapolis. 

“Please bear with us as we mourn the loss of one of our own. On Wednesday, Warren was involved in a tragic accident in a Cirrus – and our hearts break for him, his family, and his friends. We will continue to fly and teach in honor and memory of Warren, as he would have wanted – Blue skies.”

Nathan Finney

The second man who perished in the crash was Nathan Finney, of Bloomington. Finney was president and founder of Finney Hospitality Group, which owns The Tap, Tap Brewery, Yogi’s SmokeWorks, and Social Cantina in downtown Bloomington. Social Cantina also has locations in Indianapolis, Carmel, West Lafayette, and Mishawaka. He leaves behind his wife and two young children.

Shelby County Coroner Bradley Rund and Indiana State Police are working with officials of the Federal Aviation Administration and following the agency’s guidelines that govern the release of information.

The National Transportation Safety Board, an independent federal agency, is leading the investigation into the crash.  Officials said a recording device was recovered, and an investigator will collect witness statements, flight track data, and recordings from the air traffic control and surrounding surveillance video. A report on the crash will be published within 30 days.

The FlightAware website tracked a Cirrus SR 22T airplane that took off from the Monroe County Airport in Bloomington at 4:05 p.m. and lost radar contact near Shelbyville at 4:46 p.m. That plane was registered to the Maxwell Group in Charlotte, N.C., according to FlightAware.

The plane took off from Greeneville, South Carolina on Sunday, November 19, and flew to Bloomington. Later the same day the plane took flight for one hour and 12 minutes and returned to the Monroe County Airport.

On November 20, the plane took off from the Monroe County Airport flew 26 minutes landed in Terre Haute, and took off again for another 27-minute flight before landing again in Terre Haute. The plane then left Terre Haute and was in the air for an hour and 11 minutes before landing in West Lafayette. From there the plane flew 38 minutes to return to the Monroe County Airport.

On November 21, the plane left Bloomington and flew an hour and 11 minutes to Nashville, Tennessee. And returned to Bloomington the same day.

On Wednesday, November 22, the plane department landed several times at the Monroe County Airport.

The final flight departed at 4:05 p.m. to head to Shelbyville It was last seen on radar at 4:46 p.m.

Federal investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration will handle the investigation into the circumstances of the crash.

The Indiana State Police is being assisted by the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office, Shelby County EMA, and the Shelby County Coroner. This investigation remains active and there is no further information to release at this time.