French Lick, Ind. officials: Plane crashes in tree near airport

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by WHAS Editors

WHAS11.com

Posted on October 11, 2013 at 6:36 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 12 at 2:21 PM

FRENCH LICK, Ind. (WHAS11) – Pilot James Cutler, 65, of Winslow, Ind. and his passenger, Richard Yahraus, 59, of Corydon, Ind. were stuck about 60 feet above the ground for several hours after the plane they were flying crashed on Friday evening.

The ultra-light aircraft went down around 5:09 p.m. near the southern end of the airport before being wedged in the tree top next to a corn field.

Several agencies responded to the scene including Indiana State Police.

Officials say it took several hours to reach both pilot and passenger using cherry pickers and other heavy equipment.

"The first priority was to secure the aircraft to the tree. The aircraft was lodged but very unstable," said Conservation Officer Jim Hash. He added, "The rescue went very smooth once the aircraft was secured."

Both occupants were harnessed with ropes and brought down from the tree in a bucket truck. There were no injuries to the people in the aircraft or the first responders.

The FAA and Orange Co. Sheriff's Department are still investigating the crash.

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