Oct. 12--FRENCH LICK -- Two men escaped injury Friday when an ultralight plane crashed into a tree and became wedged in it, hanging about 60 feet off the ground just south of the French Lick Airport.
James Cutler, 65, a licensed pilot from Winslow, was operating the aircraft when the crash occurred at 5:09 p.m., according to a news release from the Indiana Department of Natural Resources. Richard Yahraus, 59, of Corydon, was a passenger.
The crash occurred near the edge of a cornfield in the area of 9764 W. County Road 375S in Orange County.
Several agencies were involved in rescuing the two men from the tree, including the Indiana Conservation Officers Cave Rescue Team. Orange County REMC supplied the most needed piece of equipment, a bucket truck with a 60-foot boom.
"The first priority was to secure the aircraft to the tree; the aircraft was lodged, but very unstable," Conservation Officer Jim Hash said.
Once the plane was secured, the rescue went smoothly, he said.
Both occupants were harnessed and tethered with ropes and transferred from the aircraft to the bucket. The rescue was completed about 9 p.m.
There were no injuries to the occupants of the aircraft or the first responders, the DNR release said.
The crash is still under investigation by the Orange County Sheriff's Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.
Agencies assisting in the rescue include Orange County Sheriff's Department, Indiana Conservation Officers, French Lick Police Department, West Baden Police Department, Rural District 1 Volunteer Fire Department, French Lick Fire Department, EMA District 8, IU Health Ambulance, Air Methods and the Red Cross. Heavy equipment provided by David Watts and Gary Goller was also used in the rescue.
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