Pilot hurt in crash near airport

(UPDATED: Sunday at 7:50 p.m.) A 40-year-old Grand Haven man was injured when the small plane he was piloting crashed near Pottawattomie Bayou in Grand Haven Township early Sunday afternoon.
Becky Vargo
Jul 1, 2013

Witnesses said his single-engine, experimental aircraft hit a tree before landing in a yard in the 14000 block of Indian Trails, about a half-mile east of the Grand Haven Memorial Airport.

Brian Aric Cannon was taken by ambulance to a local hospital. Police said he suffered facial and internal injuries.

The pilot was the only occupant in the home-built biplane that passed an air worthiness inspection on June 24, said Sgt. Kevin Allman of the Ottawa County Sheriff's Department.

Cannon was testing the plane for the owner, Bob Vink.

The airplane has been removed from the scene.

The incident is still under investigation.

We'll have more information about the crash in Monday's print and e-edition of the Tribune.

Comments

justsayin'

There has been a small white plane flying extremely low over Robinson Twp the last 3 weekends. Is there a way to contact the authorities when this happens? I just want to be sure that they ar being safe... not only for my family but for them as well. Please note... I am not saying this was the plane and I pray that this gentleman recovers quickly and is able to continue his love of flying. God Bless.

squawk7500

They regulation is that in rural areas pilots are allowed to fly as low as 500 feet above the ground maintaining the same distance from homes, vessels, or people. The aircraft may appear to be low, but is within their rights to fly at that altitude. Now if they lost an engine would be benefit from a higher altitude... sure, but that's up to the pilot's discretion. Unless you can see the tail number (example N123BA), the FAA can't really do much on a complaint. If you do have a legitimate complaint you can contact the FAA.

Soccermom84

Thanks for the info - I have the same situation, however this is a helicopter that regularly takes off from GH. He "buzzes" our Grand Haven Township neighborhood frequently. Evidently, he used to live in the area; whether or not he is within the 500 ft parameter, I am not sure.I have ties within the pilot community; and hope that the pilot from today's accident is not seriously injured.

ohwell

Rotorcraft have a different set of rules. Unless the FAA witnesses it, it will your word against the pilots anyway.

ohwell

Rotorcraft have a different set of rules. Unless the FAA witnesses it, it will your word against the pilots anyway.

squawk7500

OhWell is right. Helicopters do not have to follow the same rules as their aircraft operate differently. Unless you can video the unsafe behavior and have some way of referencing their altitude there is nothing you can likely do with the FAA. The best bet is if you know where the pilot hangars the helo is go talk to the airport manager and see if you can talk with the pilot or have him relay a message. I think in most cases if you're upfront with and honest concern you can have resolution. The pilot could simply avoid overflying your house as a courtesy.

justsayin'

Thank you for the info, squawk. I will begin to pay closer attention to see if I can read the tail number on the plane. Honestly, I would be pushed to believe that this plane was 500 feet from the highest peak of our home, as it was close enough for me to see the pilot's face. Just scary to know that they are allowed to fly close enough to see my kids playing in my yard. That sure wouldn't give us much time to flee the area if we knew the plane was going down. Again, hoping the pilot is safe.

squawk7500

Best advice then is to video tape it. Also like I mentioned above, if you know the airport where they're based try to go talk to the pilot and simply ask if he could avoid your house flying that low.

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