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Published: Monday, 10/20/2003

2 injured as airplane flips over at Deshler


DESHLER, Ohio - A pilot and his wife were hurt yesterday when their plane tipped over while landing at a fly-in at the Deshler Airport.

Heinrich Preiss, 69, of Bryan was flying his 2002 manufactured single-engine plane from his hometown to the air show, which is an annual event for experimental aircraft owners. Mr. Preiss entered the grass runway too fast about 10:45 a.m. and tried to force the plane to the ground, the Ohio Highway Patrol said.

The front landing gear was pushed back and the propeller struck the ground, forcing the plane on its top.

Mr. Preiss and his wife, Lillian, 79, both of Bryan, were injured. They were flown to Medical College of Ohio Hospitals, which would not release their conditions last night.

The airport is in the southwest corner of Wood County, just over the Henry County line.

There were more than a dozen plane owners at the show when the accident happened. As investigators looked at the plane yesterday, other experimental aircraft flew above them.

Mr. Preiss' plane was moderately damaged. People at the air show helped push the plane into the hangar at the airport.

Witnesses said the plane “porpoised,” meaning it landed, then bumped up in the air again and landed on its top.

Richard Cook, who owns the hangar, said the show, put on by the northwest Ohio chapter of the Experimental Aircraft Association, has been going on for years without problems.

“These things happen sometimes,” he said.

Pilots flew in from Ohio, Michigan, and West Virginia. Some had new planes; others dated back to the 1940s.

The Ohio Highway Patrol and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. Deshler police and deputies from Wood and Henry counties also responded.

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