Marysville Plane Crash Claims 2 Lives

The plane, which crashed upside down, was erected to aid in recovering the victims.
The plane, which crashed upside down, was erected to aid in recovering the victims.

Authorities say two men from Florida were killed in a plane crash Monday morning near Marysville. 68-year-old Evan Wood, the pilot, and 73-year-old Walter Buchholz, the passenger, were from Punta Gorda, Florida. The home-built plane crashed less than a mile from the Union County airport.

There was no sign of an emergency as the plane approached the Union County airport. Manager Adam Gibson says the plane sent a routine radio call while it was 3 miles away.

“It was just a normal radio call, everything was fine, he didn’t indicate any sort of an emergency situation was underway,” Gibson says.

“What was unusual, according to Gibson, was the plane’s height. Halfway down the 4,200-foot runway, the plane was still at least 10 feet above the surface. Gibson says the plane never got lower than 5 feet, before he turned away from the window.

“When he was halfway down the runway I was watching and noticing he was somewhat high,” Gibson says, “and just assumed that he was going to do a go-around.’ But there was no further radio call beyond that radio call at 3 miles out.”

Gibson says no one at the airport knew the plane had crashed until the sheriff’s department called. State Highway Patrol Lt. Rick Zwayer was one of several investigators at the scene.

“What the witnesses are saying is that this plane rotated very slowly from the sky when it fell into the cornfield here,” Zwayer says. “A witness had indicated that the plane may have attempted to land and then re-approach and that’s where it crashed.”

The plane was a kit-built, 2-seat Van’s Aircraft RV-7. It left Bay City, Mich., several hours before it crashed according to Zwayer, and was probably landing in Union County to refuel.

According to Van’s between 5,000 and 6,000 RV-7′s are in use. The kits cost between $50,000 and $75,000 and require about 1,500 hours to assemble.

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