CASCO TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) – The pilot of a small aircraft was found dead Monday afternoon after his plane crashed into an Allegan County field.
The body of 45-year-old Craig Ewing and debris from the two-seater plane were discovered by a Michigan State Police helicopter in the area of 111th Avenue east of 68th Street, north of South Haven. MSP officials at the scene said Ewing was alone in the aircraft.
He was flying a Revo light sport aircraft, authorities said. He left Lansing, Ill. at about 11:30 a.m. Monday. Police first got the call the plane had crashed at about 12:15 p.m.
Early Monday afternoon, 18-year-old Isaac Fleming happened to hear an engine sputtering, then a loud noise. He saw the wing of an airplane fall through the clouds to the ground.
“It sounded like an airplane and I heard it rev a couple times and it was kind of interesting to hear it rev, because usually it’s just a consistent,” Fleming said. “Then I heard a big bang and then I see a wing come out of the clouds and flitted down just like a maple seed down here in the field.”
He told 24 Hour News 8 he didn’t think anyone could have survived the crash.
“It’s like something you’d see in a dream or something; something falling out of the sky. It was terrifying,” Fleming said.
It took about an hour and half for authorities to find a wing in the area of 6700 block of 109th Avenue and another 15 minutes for the MSP helicopter to locate the rest of the plane and the pilot’s body.
An aircraft of that type does not need to use an airport runway to take off and no flight plans were filed police on scene told 24 Hour News 8. Ewing had a license, but police on scene did not know his flying record.
Police said none of the airports in the area had reported a missing aircraft.
“The witness statements and observations were very important. This type of aircraft they don’t have to stay in contact with radio with airports, so it could have been a real issue had someone not observed something,” MSP 1st Lt. Patrick Boyd said.