Chris Bieri, Forum Communications, Published July 04 2012
Pilot in crash near Manvel still hospitalizedGRAND FORKS - A Manvel man who crashed a small aircraft into a field near Manvel on Monday evening was listed in satisfactory condition Tuesday at Altru Hospital in Grand Forks.
Mike Callahan was injured when the Quicksilver Ultralight aircraft he was flying crashed into a wheat field on the south side of Grand Forks County Road 33, just east of County Road 18.
The Federal Aviation Administration is taking over investigation of the crash after determining that the plane weighed more 254 pounds empty and had two seats, putting it in FAA jurisdiction.
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said that agency will take a look at a number of factors, including the training and licensing of the pilot, as well as the safety of the flight and make of the aircraft.
Cory said the investigation would likely take a few weeks.
Nick Eul, manager of the FAA’s Fargo office, said pilots of aircrafts that fall into FAA jurisdiction must pass pilot training, a ground school and pass an FAA-authorized test.
Similar aircrafts to the one flown by Callahan can be purchased online and Eul said there are also stores that sell the planes.
The North Dakota Highway Patrol and Grand Forks County Sheriff’s Department initially investigated the accident.
A witness at the scene Monday said Callahan appeared to have suffered a compound fracture in one of his legs.
Responders had to drive nearly 300 yards into the field through more than three feet of wheat to reach Callahan.
The initial call to the dispatch center said Callahan believed he broke both of his legs.