(COLDWATER) – Minor injuries were reported in a Saturday afternoon airplane crash.
The Branch County Sheriff's Department says they were called to the Branch County Regional Airport. When deputies arrived, they found a single engine airplane that had crashed in a field on the airport's property.
Deputies determined the plane, a Rockwell Commander 114 was being used during a training and instructional flight. Flight instructor Edwin Shumway of Tekonsha and pilot Patrick Murphy of White Pigeon had taken off on a short runway, and were at 300 feet when they experienced a power failure and slight right turn. The plane shook and then dropped immediately.
Both Shumway and Murphy said they pulled up as hard as they could, but the plane slammed into the ground and slid for 250 yards before stopping. One of the wing tanks ruptured, which spilled fuel.
A third passenger, Richard Crepas of Kalamazoo, was not injured in the crash, which is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.
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