Pilots Were Heading To Breakfast, Fog May Have Been A
A Thorp T-18 flown by its owner went down on approach to
Plainwell Municipal Airport (61D) in Michigan Friday morning.
Witnesses said that the aircraft apparently impacted a Fed-Ex semi
truck traveling on U.S. 131 just a short distance from the runway
threshold. The pilot was fatally injured.
Thorp T-18 File Photo
FAA records indicate the 1978 Thorp was owned by William Beswick
Jr. of Holland, MI. Television station WXMI indicates that he and a
friend, Ken Dannenburg, were flying their airplanes from Tulip City
airport (KBIV) to the Fly Inn Restaurant at 61D, as they did "once
or twice a week," according to restaurant employees. Local pilots
said at the time of the accident, there was a brief period of heavy
fog that covered the airport, and that may have been a contributing
factor in the accident.
There is no published instrument approach at 61D. Video shot by
the station shows the substantially-damaged airplane down near the
runway, its N-number clearly visible on the vertical stab. The
accident is under investigation.