Tuesday, December 14, 2021

Team Mini-Max 1600R Sport, Unregistered: Accident occurred December 13, 2021 in South Bend, South Joseph County, Indiana

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Chicago, Illinois

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: South Bend, Indiana
Accident Number: CEN22LA074
Date and Time: December 13, 2021, 16:40 Local
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Aircraft: Mini-MAX 1600R Sport 
Injuries: 1 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Mini-MAX 
Registration: UNREGISTERED
Model/Series: 1600R Sport NO SERIES 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Dusk
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSBN,773 ft msl 
Observation Time: 16:54 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles 
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C /-1°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 7 knots / , 230°
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.24 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: South Bend, IN (3IN7)
Destination: South Bend, IN

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 None 
Latitude, Longitude: 41.66458,-86.355159 
61-year-old Joseph Krol of Mill Creek failed the field sobriety test after the aircraft crash and was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated - Endangerment and Operating While Intoxicated.
(St. Joseph County Jail)

UPDATE: Indiana State Police say the pilot of an ultralight plane landed in jail after crash landing in St. Joseph County and was found to be operating while intoxicated late Monday afternoon.

61-year-old Joseph Krol of Mill Creek failed the field sobriety test after the crash and was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated - Endangerment and Operating While Intoxicated. He was medically cleared before being taken to the St. Joseph County Jail.

Krol was eventually released on recognizance.


ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. (WNDU) - Emergency crews responded to an ultralight plane crash landing on Monday in St. Joseph County.

Crews were called to the area of Grant and Wild Heather Roads in Warren Township around 4:45 p.m.

Police say there are no injuries. The pilot was the only person in the plane and was not harmed. No homes or nearby structures were damaged.

Police say the pilot showed possible signs of intoxication. The crash is under investigation.

SOUTH BEND, Indiana – The operator of an ultralight that crashed in St. Joseph County Monday, December 13, has been charged with operating while intoxicated, according to Indiana State Police.

At about 4:40 p.m., Monday, Trooper Scott Hipsher and officers with the St. Joseph County Police Department responded to reports of a single-engine plane that had crashed in the area of Grant Road and Wild Heather Drive southwest of South Bend.

When officers arrived, they found that an ultralight that resembled a small single-engine airplane had crashed at the entrance of Heather Ridge subdivision.  The operator of the ultralight, Joseph Krol, 61 of Mill Creek, was not injured in the crash but was showing signs of alcohol impairment.

Krol then failed a field sobriety test at the scene of the crash. 

After being medically cleared and submitting to a certified chemical test at a local hospital, Krol was arrested for Operating While Intoxicated- Endangerment and Operating While Intoxicated. Krol was then transported to the St. Joseph County Jail.


  1. This guy is very lucky to be uninjured. That plane is really tore up.

  2. He'll have to pay for finding that city light pole, too, I'd imagine. On another note, don't they have grooming standards for pilot licenses theses days, or do you think that tosseled look came from the crash?

    1. First you are assuming he even has a sport license (or higher). Second, my money is on him being a full fledged alcoholic that started drinking in the morning. Alcoholics don't look like this until they screw up and crash something while lit, usually a vehicle or boat. It's rare for an alleged pilot to do this. And I say alleged because I could find no record of any FAA certificate that matches his name and age.

    2. He is an ultralight pilot so no certification needed. He violated Part 91 though so the FAA will be on his case.

    3. Mini-Max doesn't meet FAR 103 requirements to be an ultralight.

    4. "Mini-Max doesn't meet FAR 103 requirements to be an ultralight."

      ^^Correct which is why I said a minimum of a sport license for an LSA which this aircraft is in the category of (higher weight, faster top speed than the ultralight class).

  3. Perhaps he needed some booze to bolster his confidence.

    1. It's amazing the accomplishments one can do under the spell of alcohol. Or, what they THINK they can do in their drunk minds at the time. It usually doesn't work out well for them when behind machinery, and often doesn't work out well for the innocents around said drunks. Fortunately for this moron there were no kids playing on that neighborhood street. I shudder at the thought...the absolute last think a parent worries about is some drunk dumbass pilot crashing into their front yard killing their child.

  4. Any landing you can walk away from, errr, stagger away from is a good one.

  5. It is unfortunate he was FUI. To me this looks like a successful emergency landing, with a better outcome than most sober off airport landings in this blog.

  6. Flying drunk? I hope they prosecute him, lock him up, and throw away the key. Completely irresponsible and stupid and gives aviation a black eye. He absolutely needs to do time in the federal pen for this, and preferably lots of it.