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Forum Communications, Published July 03 2012

Ultralight plane pilot in satisfactory condition after crash near Manvel

The pilot of a small aircraft that crashed Monday evening in a field near Manvel, N.D., is in satisfactory condition in Altru Hospital this morning, according to a nursing supervisor.

Mike Callahan, Manvel, was injured when the aircraft, which appeared to witnesses to be an Ultralight, he was piloting crashed about 300 yards into a wheat field on the south side of Grand Forks County Road 33, just east of County Road 18.

Meanwhile, the Federal Aviation Administration is still trying to determine which agency has jurisdiction to investigate the crash.

“If it’s under 254 pounds, empty weight, it’s considered an Ultralight and we have no jurisdiction,” Nick Eul, manager of the Fargo office of the FAA, said this morning.

If the weight is 255 pounds or higher, or the aircraft has two seats, the FAA assumes control, he said.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol and Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department initially investigated the accident.

A witness said Monday it appeared the pilot might have suffered a compound fracture in one of his legs. However, a spokeswoman at Altru did not release the extent of the injuries early today.