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Plane crashes after simulating 'power failure' in Branch County

The plane was at 300 feet when the crew simulated a power failure.
Credit: Branch County Sheriff's Office

COLDWATER, Mich. — There were no injuries in a single engine plane crash reported in Branch County Saturday, officials said. 

Around 1:42 p.m. deputies responded to the Branch County Regional airport on a report of a plane crash and fire. When they arrived, they found the single engine Rockwell Commander 114 had "belly crashed" in a field. 

There were three people in the plane, one of them being Edwin Shumway, a flight instructor from Tekonsha. 

The three people told police they took off on a short runway, climbed to 300 feet and simulated a "power failure." The pilot, Patrick Murphy of White Pigeon, made a slight right turn but the plane started to shake badly. Murphy lost control and the plane dropped immediately, police said. 

Shumway said he and Murphy "pulled up as hard as we could," but the plane slammed into the ground and slid about 250 yards before coming to a stop. 

One of the tanks in the wing ruptured and all the fuel spilled out.  

The back passenger Richard Crepas of Kalamazoo was not injured. 

The Federal Aviation Agency was called to investigate the crash, which is standard protocol for a plane crash. 

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