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Pilot Killed in NW Ind Plane Crash

The FAA and NTSB are trying to determine what caused an ultra-light aircraft to crash in a La Porte County cornfield Sunday morning, killing the pilot. Police say 36-year-old Benjamin Hubbard of South Bend was found dead in the wreckage of his airplane, which was about a half-mile east of county road 600 east, south of Division Road. Deputies say the pilot who found the wreckage reported he and Hubbard both left the Niles, Michigan airport in separate aircraft at approximately 6:30 (CST) Sunday morning on their way to Plymouth. When his friend failed to arrive he left Plymouth and retraced his route. He remained in the air, circling the crash site until emergency responders arrived.
More information from La Porte County Sheriffs Police:
On Sunday, July 21, 2013 at 7:03 am (CST), the La Porte County Regional Dispatch Center received a single 911 call from a resident who lived in the area of Division Road and County Road 600 East in reference to a possible plane crash. Deputies responded and the complainant reported that he believed a crop duster airplane had crashed. Deputies observed a crop duster in the area, still flying and because no wreckage or evidence of a plane crash could be found, they cleared the area.
At 1155 am (CST), the Dispatch Center received another 911 call from a pilot of an aircraft who reported that he had just located the wreckage of an ultra-light airplane in a field east of County Road 600 East, south of Division Road. Deputies arrived in the area and the pilot who had reported the discovery circled over the wreckage until it was located. Sheriff’s Deputies located the wreckage in a field located approximately 2,100 feet east of County Road 600 East, south of Division Road. The crashed plane was located 235 feet south of the roadway in a corn field that contained corn that was approximately six to ten feet in height. The wreckage could not been seen from the road.

The pilot, who was the lone occupant of the single engine plane was found deceased. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) was immediately contacted and they made contact with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). The FAA currently has an investigator on scene and are awaiting NTSB investigators. The investigation has since been turned over to the FAA and NTSB.
Deputies have learned that the pilot who made the discovery had reported that he and the deceased had departed the Niles, Michigan airport at approximately 6:30 (CST) this morning, in route to Plymouth, Indiana where the two were going to meet. Both left in separate aircraft, he in a Cessna and his friend in his ultra-light. That pilot arrived in Plymouth and when his friend failed to arrive he departed Plymouth and retraced his route and discovered the wreckage of the ultra-light and called 911 via his cellular telephone. He remained in the air, circling the crash site until emergency responders arrived on scene.
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