FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A small, single-engine prop plane crashed while landing at Fort Wayne International Airport Wednesday night, according to airport officials.
Executive Director Scott Hinderman told Newschannel 15 the airplane was from a Purdue flight school. Purdue University Spokesman Jim Bush says two students were on board. One was the pilot and the other the instructor. Both are enrolled in the Purdue School of Aviation and Transportation Technology.
Bush said the pilot was practicing landings and takeoffs when the plane was caught in a strong crosswind during one of the landings. The two on board were taken by ambulance to a hospital with non-life threatening injuries.
The crash was reported shortly after 10 p.m.
Hinderman said the Cirrus SR20 plane was was approaching runway 5 when it crashed.. Hinderman said the pilot did not declare an emergency before landing.
The National Weather Service (Northern Indiana) in North Webster reported the following conditions at 10 p.m. at FWA: Cloudy skies but unlimited visibility. The temperature was 48°F with a dew point of 31°F and a relative humidity of 51 percent. The winds were reported out of the east at 23 miles per hour with gusts to 30 miles per hour.
Emergency workers at FWA have been authorized to move the aircraft to a secure location. Hinderman said FAA investigators are expected to arrive sometime Thursday morning. FAA Spokesman Tony Molinaro said the investigation has begun and will take several weeks to complete. No additional information will be released by FAA until the investigation is closed.
The crash forced the closure of both runways at FWA and a brief ground stop for around 30 minutes, according to Hinderman.
Two late night flights were diverted, United 4253 from Newark was diverted to Indianapolis and Delta 3565 from Minneapolis was diverted to South Bend. Both planes eventually landed at FWA only slightly behind schedule.
Hinderman said the airport is back to full operation and does not expect any operational delays Thursday.