Livingston County Sheriff Steve Cox reports a pilot from Wisconsin is safe after landing his small plane south of Chillicothe Thursday afternoon.
The sheriff’s office was informed at 3:53 pm by a call from the FAA reporting a possible aircraft down 7 to 10 miles southwest of Chillicothe.
Sheriff Steve Cox said as responders were conducting a search, the FAA reported the plane was down somewhere near Avalon. Several responders went to the Avalon area to continue searching. A while later, the F.A.A. advised according to the mapping, the plane was south of the railroad tracks in Ludlow and east of the first house south of the railroad tracks not more than ¾ of 1 mile.
But Cox reported the search on land and air was not providing any results due to fields with corn standing which provides poor visibility from the ground when searching.
After some unsuccessful attempts, Sheriff’s Office Captain Sindy Thomas was finally able to make contact with the pilot by phone. The pilot reported he was in a field, could see a home about ¼ mile away, and was able to walk to that house and checked the mail in the mailbox for an address.
At 5 o’clock, the pilot was located a few miles south-east of Dawn and the pilot from Wisconsin reported being uninjured.
The Missouri State Highway Patrol and the FAA are investigating the crash.
The Chillicothe Fire Department report says it received a call of a plane that was leaking fuel and going down approximately eight miles south of Chillicothe.
While en route to a location near railroad tracks south of Ludlow, the department was told the pilot was at a residence on LIV Road 433.
Captain Les Hinnen of the fire department said the pilot, identified as Mark Steinmetz, refused treatment from emergency medical services. Hinnen reported the pilot, along with a Highway Patrolman, went to the location of the crash in a hay field off LIV Road 431.
Hinnen quoted the pilot as saying he began flight with two full tanks of fuel but the plane was having a mechanical issue with one of the tanks. The pilot also was quoted as saying the planes’ issue involved a left wing tank fuel ventand the engine could not draw fuel. When the engine stalled, he found a hayfield and was able to land the plane, striking a barb wire fence coming to a stop. Damage for the plane included a punctured hole due to the barb wire fence.
According to Sheriff Steve Cox: all sheriff’s office staff responded as did the Highway Patrol. Besides Chillicothe Department of Emergency Services, others responding included a Chillicothe Police officer and a drone; Dawn First Responders, a Department of Conservation Agent from Caldwell County. Also assisting in the search were Bill Kieffer with his plane, Life Flight Eagle helicopter and several citizens.