ALBANY, Ind. — 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, officials said.
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 in the crash, 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.
WASHINGTON — U.S. military officials say a small, small single engine plane crashed near Muncie, Indiana, after operating erratically. They said they believe the pilot had been suffering from a lack of oxygen.
A spokesman for U.S. Northern Command said that military officials do not believe it is terrorism related. Instead, Michael Kucharek said the pilot may have blacked out due to a condition known as hypoxia.
The plane crashed in a field on a farm. Officials said the pilot was the only person on the plane. Kucharek said the pilot took off from a small airport near Grand Rapids, Mich., and was at an altitude of about 23,000 feet and descending slowly. He said the plane was heading south-southeast and had been speeding up and slowing down to dangerous speeds. Law enforcement was on the scene.