Plane Crashes in Indiana Field

A single-engine plane crashed into an Indiana field on Wednesday after the pilot, who was seen slumped over, lost consciousness and the aircraft started flying out of control.

From the Associated Press:

Military officials do not believe the crash was terrorism-related but said the pilot may have had a health problem or have been suffering from a lack of oxygen. After air traffic controllers lost contact with the pilot, F-16s from Indiana National Guard intercepted the plane and followed it for about an hour until it crashed.

Indiana State Police Sgt. Rod Russell said the pilot, who was the only person aboard the plane, died in the crash. No one on the ground was injured when it crashed, and no other details were immediately available about the pilot.

David Lykins, 54, of Muncie said he and his nephew were doing construction work when they saw the plane fly in three circles overhead, then tilt on its side with the wings pointed down and crash into trees on the edge of the field.

“I didn’t know what to think. I knew whoever was in it didn’t have control of it,” he said.

The plane departed from Grand Rapids, Mich. and then flew north to Traverse City, Mich., said FAA spokesman Tony Molinaro in Chicago. It turned around in Traverse City was flying back to Grand Rapids when it lost communication with ground air traffic controllers, Molinaro said.

The plane crashed around 12:40 p.m. EDT in a field in a rural area of eastern Indiana, about 60 miles northeast of Indianapolis and 185 miles south of Grand Rapids, NORAD said. John Erickson, a spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, said the aircraft crashed on its own.

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