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BREAKING: Andrews University plane crashes in Berrien Springs

Published 8:21pm Monday, September 6, 2010

An airplane being used for pilot instruction by Andrews University crashed this afternoon in Berrien Springs. The two occupants walked away from the crash.

At 3:17 p.m., people at a house on Poole Drive in Berrien Springs, which overlooks Andrews Airpark, called in a possible aircraft crash.

Berrien Springs Oronoko Township Officer Rob Christner arrived on scene within minutes of the reported crash finding two individuals walking away from an aircraft which was down near the U.S. 31 end of the runway.

Christner determined that there were no injuries to either of the two individuals who indicated they were the two occupants of the plane.

The investigation determined that the single prop Piper PA 28R-200, owned by Andrews University, was being used at the time for flight instruction.  Both occupants of the plane were FAA licensed pilots, but one was taking advance instruction working toward upgrading his pilot license.

The pilot described that they were attempting to land at the airpark doing a practice downward spiral crash landing scenario and while doing so they came in at the wrong speed creating a hard landing which caused the left landing gear to collapse through the left wing of the aircraft and blow out the nose wheel.  The plane remained upright off to the edge of the runway.

There was a slight fuel leakage at the crash site.  The fire department dispersed foam around and on the plane while working to make it safe.

The FAA was notified of the crash, and will conduct a follow-up investigation in accordance with their protocol.

The airpark remains closed until the plane can be removed from the runway.

The investigation has been turned over to the FAA.

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