Preliminary reports indicate the pilot was attempting to take off when the plane crashed into a heavily wooded, swamp area. Photo courtesy: Detroit Free Press
BRIGHTON, Mich. (Detroit Free Press)-- A plane crash in Brighton has killed a Costa Rican woman and injured a man.
Chief Michael O'Brien of the Brighton Area Fire Department said the pilot, identified only as a male in his 70s, was flown by Survival Flight to the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor where he is reportedly in serious condition. His passenger, reportedly a woman in her 60s visiting the area from Costa Rica, was killed in the crash, which occurred shortly after 8:30 a.m.
O'Brien said preliminary reports indicate the pilot was attempting to take off when the single-engine plane crashed in a heavily wooded, swamp area near Hyne and Hunter roads between the Brighton Airport and Woodland Lake.
Witnesses reportedly said the plane barely climbed over the tree line before turning and crashing.
The area is difficult to access and fire officials say they are using chain saws and an inflatable boat to access the crash site.
"Once our crews got a visual (on the plane) and determined the best way down, they had to go through trees, swamp and wade out in the water and muck," O'Brien explained. "When they finally made it to the plane, we had to extricate the pilot."
The pilot was transported back to land by a boat and then airlifted to the U-M.
Authorities did not release additional information and are still working to notify the victims' family.
As of noon Saturday, the plane remained in the muck and was expected to stay there until the investigation is complete.
Livingston County sheriff's officials and Michigan State Police personnel are on scene along with Brighton fire officials. Officials with the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board also are on scene.