Plymouth Mayor Mark Senter (seated, right) speaks to those assembled about the airport improvements and the FAA grant
The Plymouth Airport will get a wider runway and more improvements thanks to an FAA grant worth $2.2 million. Matching funds from the city and state of $126,805 each brings the total to a little over $2.5 million.
Mayor Mark Senter said the project has been in the works for many years but the current infrastructure needed to be upgraded before the runway could be restructured.
“We had buildings here in awful shape,” explained Mayor Senter. There were garage doors that would barely open, roofs that leaked, dimly lit hangers with airplanes that shivered in the cold winter, cracked sidewalks, an office area styled for the 1970s, and a pilot’s lounge that was indescribable. Let’s fix what we have first, then we can start talking about a mile-long runway.”
The pilot of the single-engine plane that crash landed at the Starke County Airport Monday afternoon has been identified. James A.W. Evans III, 68, of Stafford, Va. appeared to die instantly, according to Starke County Coroner Kris Rannells. An autopsy is scheduled later today to confirm his cause of death. Evans was en route from Virginia to Oshkosh, Wis., stopped in Knox for fuel and crashed at the south end of the runway around 3 p.m.. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
The FAA and NTSB are investigating a small plane crash yesterday morning in LaPorte County that claimed the life of the pilot. Benjamin Hubbard, 36, of South Bend was flying a single-engine plane from Niles to Plymouth when it crashed around 7 a.m. in a field southeast of Rolling Prairie, according to our reporting partners at WNDU-TV. A neighbor notified the police that a possible crash had occurred. The man told the station the plane turned around several times above his house and was banking quite hard, then he didn’t hear it any more. LaPorte County dispatchers received another 911 call around noon saying the wreckage had been found. That call came from another pilot, who had left the airport in Niles, Mich. around 6:30 yesterday morning with Hubbard. The two were planning to meet in Plymouth, but when his friend didn’t show he retraced his route, found the wreckage and called 911.