UPDATE: Officials identify pilot killed in plane crash in Elkhart County

    Photo: Christy Sanchez

    The FAA and NTSB are investigating a deadly plane crash in Elkhart County.

    It happened Thursday night near County Road 33.

    The Elkhart County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pilot as 55-year-old Neal Myers of Middlebury.

    The NTSB says the plane was a Piper PA-32. It took off from Goshen Airport.

    Witnesses told police they saw the plane nose dive into a field, hitting power lines, before crashing to the ground. They also say they saw the plane explode on impact.

    One witness told WSBT 22 he was driving on County Road 42 last night when he saw the plane fly overhead. He said it changed course a bit. Then he witnessed the crash.

    “The wing kind of flipped over and all of a sudden it just took the nose right down to the ground, and it just exploded when it hit the ground.”

    He thought the plane hit some power lines, because he saw them flicker.

    Elkhart County Sheriff Jeff Siegel went to the crash site.

    “I responded to the scene and spoke to a witness who had observed a plane looking like it was doing some maneuvers and practicing approaches for the airport. The only individual on board was the pilot.”

    The FAA said the pilot was doing practice approaches to the airport and crashed about one mile away.

    A viewer sent us a picture above that showed visible smoke and fire.

    I&M tells us the plane crash caused a power outage.

    I&M released the following statement:

    It is our understanding that the cause of this outage is:

    a private airplane crashed near the Goshen airport last night.

    this airplane collided with an AEP transmission tower locking out their transmission circuit

    the locked out AEP transmission circuit de-energized several AEP and REMC substations, NO Nipsco substations were affected

    1 Noble County REMC substation "Burnworth", has a 130 customer Nipsco distribution circuit coming from it, those Nipsco customers were experiencing an outage until Noble County REMC and Nipsco linemen could perform emergency switching.

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