Minor injuries for pilot and passenger in plane crash near US-131

A plane that crashed next to US-131 at the Plainwell Municipal Airport on May 26, 2017. (Courtesy: Mark Malone)

GUN PLAIN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — A small plane crashed off the end of a runway near Plainwell Friday, resulting in a scary ending to a field trip for a group of sixth-graders.

The four-seater Cessna 177A crashed at the west edge of the Plainwell Municipal Airport just feet away from the northbound lanes of US-131 in Gun Plain Township around 1 p.m.

The pilot, who suffered a nose injury in the crash, overshot the runway, plowed through a fence and landed the plane nose-down in a ditch, according to Ginger DeVillers with the West Michigan Flight Academy.

Three sixth-grade students from Plainwell Community Schools’ STEM program were on board the plane when it crashed. While DeVillers told 24 Hour News 8 at the scene that none of the students were injured, a later release from the Allegan County Sheriff’s Office said both the pilot and one of the students were taken to the hospital for minor injuries and the two other students were treated at the scene and released.

“We’ve been doing this for four years at the Plainwell schools and we’ve had an awesome record, and we had a pilot just went off the end of the runway, and all the kids are safe, they’ve all been checked out by paramedics,” DeVillers said.

Authorities have not released the names of the pilot or students involved in the crash, which the FAA is investigating.

There have been two other plane crashes in recent years involving the Plainwell Municipal Airport. On Sept. 23, 2011, a Holland man was killed when his small plane hit a FedEx truck on northbound US-131 just west of the airport’s runway. On May 21, 2009, two men died in a small plane crash at the airport.

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