Plane crash investigation now in FAA hands

The plane can be seen in the backyard of the home.
Police are searching for a missing passenger after a plane crashes in Fort Wayne.
Police are searching for a missing passenger after a plane crashes in Fort Wayne.

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Many questions remain Sunday afternoon, as the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) continues to investigate a plane that crashed near Smith Field Airport a day earlier.

Crews removed the small plane from the backyard of a home Saturday afternoon. By Sunday morning the scene was all clear. However, one person remained missing from the two passenger plane.

Neighbors were in shock after the crash. Residents regularly see low-flying planes overhead, but around 3:45 a.m. Saturday morning one plane hit a little too close to home. Emergency crews were called to the 1400 block of Ludwig Park Drive.

“Everyone was kind of in a chaotic stage because we weren’t sure what happened,” said Andrew Rennack, who lives two doors down from where the plane crashed.

Rennack said he woke up to the sound of a large bang. Soon after the street was flooded with police.

Indiana State Police Sergeant Tom Merkling indicated the plane was flying north, approaching Smith Field. As the plane descended, it clipped the tops of some trees before it struck a power line and a small corner section of the roof of a house, according to police. The plane landed upside down in the backyard of the home. The crash happened approximately 1,000 feet south of the airfield.

“We saw it was real close to the lady’s house and we just noticed several pieces,” he said. “The back end was torn apart, upside down. It was just a lot of debris everywhere.”

Police believe there were two people inside the plane. The pilot was located shortly after the crash and hospitalized in good condition. However, police and firefighters have not been able to locate the passenger. Investigators said they do believe they have that person’s identity and are trying to find where that person is located. Police have not released their names.

“A lot of planes fly out here especially on the weekends,” Rennhack said. “It’s kind of cool to see the planes fly over but you never really think that one’s going to fly into your house.”

No one in the house or on the ground was hurt.

The incident was turned over to the FAA Saturday afternoon. There were no updates as of Sunday.

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