Sunday evening with the excitement of the hot air balloons taking off from Centennial Park and the skydivers parachuting in to the park not a lot of people noticed the excitement unfolding north of the park at the Plymouth Airport.
About 8 p.m. 74 year old Chuck Klingerman of Plymouth was attempting to land his Piper Cherokee 140 from the east end of the runway when he lost track of the end of the runway in the bright setting sun.
According to Airport Manager Dave Lattimer, “Klingerman was too low and to slow.” He got into the corn on the east side of Lilac Road which slowed the plane even more. The landing gear then struck the edge of the asphalt roadway and the plane skidded across Lilac Road and into the grassy area east and south of the runway.
Klingerman received a minor injury above his eye and received a few stitches. He was back at the airport within an hour. The Piper Cherokee was left at the end of the runway until Monday morning when Carnegie Towing put it on the back of a roll-back and moved it to a hanger at the Plymouth Airport.
The South Bend office of the FAA is investigating the crash and on Tuesday was at the airport looking at the plane and the airport.
The plane sustained major damage including the prop, nose gear and landing gear.