COLDWATER, MI - A airplane crash Saturday afternoon left three people with minor injuries in southeast Michigan during a training and instructional flight.
Branch County Deputies were dispatched to Branch County Regional Airport regarding reports of airplane crash and fire. Upon arrival Deputies observed a single engine Rockwell Commander 114 that appeared to have “belly” crashed in a field on the Airport property.
Reports indicate the crash victims, which were all adults, only sustained minor lacerations, and no one was transported for injuries.
Initial statements taken at the scene depict that the pilots were taking off on a short runway, climbed to 300 feet and experienced a “power failure” and slight right turn. A pilot told authorities the plane “shook badly” and they “lost control, dropping immediately”.
The flight instructor, Edwin Shumway, of Tekonsha (MI), reported he and pilot Patrick Murphy of White Pigeon (MI), “pulled up” as hard as they could.
The plane slammed into the ground sliding on it’s under side for roughly 250 yards before coming to a stop. One of the wing tanks ruptured spilling all of the fuel. The back passenger and pilot, Richard Crepas of Kalamazoo (MI), was not injured.
The incident remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Agency.
Branch County Deputies were assisted at the scene by airport staff, Coldwater Fire Department, Michigan DNR, Michigan State Police, and Life Care Ambulance.
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