Neighbors pull pilot from wreckage
By Scott Bellile
Neighbors freed a New London resident from a crashed experimental aircraft moments before it exploded, according to Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office.
The crash occurred at the Poppy’s Flying Acres airfield in the town of Mukwa before 4:20 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6.
The man, who is not yet being identified by Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, was transported to ThedaCare Medical Center-New London, Waupaca County Sheriff’s Deputy Pete Bosquez told the New London Press Star. Bosquez declined to comment on the man’s condition.
An “ear witness” heard the plane backfire, and a couple neighbors ran to the field to pull the pilot from the plane, Bosquez said. They and the pilot, who was the lone occupant of the plane, retreated 25 feet from the plane before it exploded and became fully engulfed, he said.
Bosquez called the neighbors’ response a “heroic” act. The sheriff’s office will only release their names with their consent, he said.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been contacted and will investigate the crash, Bosquez said.
The fixed-wing plane was home-built by the pilot. It had less than 50 hours of flight time, according to Bosquez.
Waupaca County Sheriff’s Office, New London Fire Department and Gold Cross Ambulance responded to the crash.