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Pilot, Passenger Survive Wire Strike In A Kitfox

Passenger Was Recording Video At The Time Of The Accident

A young man riding with his grandfather in the older man's Kitfox (similar airplane pictured. Not accident airplane) was enjoying the ride and recording video on his cell phone when one of the wheels of the plane hit a power line and it went down Sunday evening. Both survived the accident.

The pilot was Wilbert Matthes of Ida, Michigan. They were flying near Monroe, MI, when the accident occurred. The passenger, Ian Zawacki, suffered only minor injuries to his shins and shoulders, according to a report in the Monroe Evening News. Matthes was taken to a hospital with a possible broken sternum.

The plane was on approach to a grass strip in Monroe. Matthes, described as an experienced pilot, had reportedly landed at the field 40 or 50 time previously. Les Grodi, who owns the airstrip and is a friend of Matthes, told the paper that "everything was perfect, but they were 10 feet too low." The power line is about 27 feet above the ground.

Grodi said that Matthes may have underestimated the weight of his grandson, who stands 6 feet 5 inches tall and is a college basketball player.

FMI: www.ntsb.gov

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