1 dead, 1 hurt in central Indiana plane crash

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Associated Press

Posted on July 11, 2014 at 3:31 PM

Updated Friday, Jul 11 at 3:35 PM

GREENWOOD, Ind. (AP) — A single-engine airplane lost power moments after taking off from a small central Indiana airport, struck two homes and crashed, killing the pilot and critically injuring a passenger, a fire chief said.

"Our fire crew was on another run a block away and witnessed the plane banking hard and it didn't pick up altitude so it went down," Greenwood Fire Chief James Sipes told The Associated Press in a telephone interview. "The wing hit one house, nosed in at the fence, flipped over and clipped the other house."

No one on the ground was injured when the plane crashed about 2:20 p.m. Friday near Greenwood Municipal Airport, 12 miles south of Indianapolis, Sipes said. Assistant Police Chief Matt Fillenwarth told The Indianapolis Star that two people who helped the passenger get out of the plane were slightly injured. One sustained an electrical shock by touching a downed power line, while the other sustained a knee injury.

Rick Smith said he was sitting in his living room watching television when the plane slid through his backyard. It had already hit the ground after one of the wings struck the roof of the house next door.

Smith said he heard a loud boom and the lights went out. He called 911 and ran outside with his dog.

"I didn't know what was going on," Smith said. "It's just scary."

Chelsey Fussner, 25, an emergency room nurse at Franciscan St. Francis Hospital, was sitting on the patio of a nearby restaurant when the plane crashed. She jumped a fence and arrived in time to help another witness who was trying to pull one victim away from the burning plane.

"The bystander was calling for help because there were a lot of power lines all around," Fussner said. "All I could think about was this plane could blow at any minute."

The names of the pilot and the passenger were not released.

The two houses had minor damage, Sipes said.

The plane was headed out of state for inspection, Fillenwarth told the Daily Journal.

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