FORAKER — An Elkhart man successfully landed a plane in the middle of a field just west of Foraker after he had problems with the aircraft Friday afternoon, July 5.
Police and the Foraker Fire Department were called at about 12:30 p.m. to a field near the intersection of C.R. 9 and C.R. 44 to reports of a plane making an emergency landing.
John Seaver, 63, of Elkhart, was flying a 1995 Piper Malibu PA-64 from Elkhart to Indianapolis when he started to experience difficulties with the aircraft shortly before 12:30 p.m., said Capt. Jim Bradberry of the Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department.
Seaver contacted the South Bend Regional Airport’s control tower to tell them about the problems he was experiencing and that he did not have time to land in an airport. He asked the staff to contact emergency vehicles as he tried to make the emergency landing.
“He was making the best of a bad situation where he made a quick landing. He picked the best alternative,” Bradberry said
The plane had some damage on the right wing and wheel but Seaver, who was the only person in the plane, was not injured.
“He’s in good spirits, which he should be very happy that he didn’t get hurt at all,” Bradberry said. “He’s a very lucky man and I think he’s very grateful that the outcome was to his benefit today.”
Glen Zimmerman, who lives in front of the field where the landing happened, said he was out picking up milk when he got a call from his son and wife, who told him a plane had crashed nearby.
His son drove to the field where the plane landed to make sure the pilot was fine, Zimmerman said.
Firefighters were called to the scene because of a fuel leak from the aircraft, according to dispatch. Personnel from the Elkhart County Health Department also arrived to the scene to examine the extent of the damage from the fuel on the field.
The Federal Aviation Administration was called to the field where the plane landed to make its own investigation, Bradberry said.
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