Man walks away from crash shortly after takeoff

A small plane crashed in a field owned by Studebaker Nurseries shortly after take-off from Andy Barnhart Memorial Airport just before 2:00 on Friday afternoon.

The pilot, 75-year-old John Studebaker, of New Madison, Ohio, had exited the plane under his own power before rescue crews arrived and suffered what were described on the scene as minor injuries. Bethel Township Medics transported him to Grandview Hospital.

“I knew he was coming down,” said a Studebaker employee who did not wish to be named.

The employee said she saw heard the plane’s engine sputtering, saw it bank and it came down and skidded. “At least he didn’t land nose first,” she said.

The pilot had reportedly just taken off from Andy Barnhart Memorial Airport and was headed to Greenville.

Disposition of the plane will be determined by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The crash is under investigation by the Springfield Post of the Ohio State Patrol. The State Patrol was assisted by the several deputies from the Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

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