Missing bolt caused Niles plane crashPublished 11:22am Friday, February 1, 2013
Mechanical error is to blame for a plane crash in Niles Township that claimed the life of an Elkhart man in January.
According to the Michigan State Police, a bolt missing from the yoke, which helped control the plane, caused the Ultra Lite single seat aircraft to crash in a wooded area east of Clark Street around 4:10 p.m. Jan. 26.
Christopher McKenna, 50, was pronounced dead at the scene.
According to police, the missing bolt caused the yoke to become stuck in a 45-degree downward position. The pilot was unable to change the plane’s elevation and crashed.
McKenna built the plane, which had between four and five hours of flight time.
Prior to the crash, the plane was last seen north of the Jerry Tyler Memorial Airport in Niles.