Thursday, April 05, 2012

Man cut from cockpit of plane wreckage at Ann Arbor Municipal Airport (KARB), Michigan

PittsfieldTownship — A small, experimental aircraft crashed Thursday morning at the Ann Arbor Airport, leaving one person with non-life-threatening injuries.

Public safety responders were on the crash scene at the municipally owned airport as of 12:30 p.m. Thursday. Huron Valley Ambulance responded to the airport at 11:43 a.m. to assist following the crash, according to the ambulance company's spokeswoman Joyce Williams.

One male, the only person on the plane, was taken from the scene of the crash in serious condition to a University of Michigan hospital, Williams said. Their responders had left the scene by 1 p.m.

Fire Department officers had to cut the man from the cockpit of the two-seat, overhead wing airplane, said Matt Harshberger, Pittsfield Township Director of Public Safety.

The man was pinned because of damage to the front of the plane, and officers used hydraulic rescue tools and reciprocating saws to remove him. It took about 30 minutes to get the man out. He remained conscious and alert the entire time, according to a release from Harshberger's office.

The fire department arrived within minutes because a station is located next to the airport.

"He had just taken off and then he came back down," Harshberger said.

The plan landed in the northwest grassy area at the end of the runway and shut down the airport for several hours. As of 2 p.m., the airport remained closed as investigators including the Federal Aviation Administration review the crash scene.

Fluids from the airplane including gasoline leaked from the wreckage, but there was no fire, the release stated. The flammable vapors were controlled by the fire department hose line.

"It went according to our emergency plan," Harshberger said. "It was very efficient."

The man's name, age and hometown were not released as of 2:30 p.m. Thursday.

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