Three people were injured after a small plane crashed shortly after taking off from the Andy Barnhart Memorial Airport in New Carlisle.
Emergency crews responded at approximately 7:42 a.m. on Sunday morning to find a wrecked 1958 Cessna Model 172 on the Studebaker Nurseries property located at 11140 Milton Carlisle Rd. in New Carlisle — just a half-mile away from the airport.
Since opening in 1957, the nursery has seen about six or seven plane crashes, said vice president of Studebaker Nurseries, Dan Studebaker.
“We’re always aware that planes are flying out, they practice landing and taking off,” Studebaker said.
Studebaker said his staff members were the ones that reported the crash to police.
“We had some people caring for the plants and they’re the ones that found it and reported it,” Studebaker said.
The plane’s pilot, 45-year-old Nathan McBride, of New Carlisle, and two passengers were taken to Miami Valley Hospital for treatment of injuries not considered life-threatening, according to a release from the Ohio State Highway Patrol.
McBride had just taken flight from the Andy Barnhart Memorial Airport prior to the aircraft crashing, the release said. The crash initially appears to have happened because of engine failure.
The Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene of the crash on Sunday and is still conducting an investigation into what caused the plane to go down.
Bethel Twp. Fire and Rescue were among the first responders at the scene. Bethel Twp. Fire Chief Jacob King said at the scene that two of the occupants suffered minor injuries while one suffered a more significant injury, but all were in stable condition.
However, King said one of the casualties in the crash was a greenhouse, which the plane struck on its descent.
“It’s easily repairable, there wasn’t that much plant damage,” Studebaker said. “As long as we have them repaired by the winter, we can put away plants and we’ll be fine.”
Studebaker said the important thing is all of the people inside the plane were lucky —he doesn’t know how they only walked away with cuts and bruises.
“It’s a miracle if you looked at that plane you couldn’t believe anyone walked away from it,” Studebaker said. “It was all twisted metal, it looked like someone could have easily lost their life.”
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