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Published: Monday, 10/27/2003

Plane crash-lands in field

Dr. Richard Munk of Sylvania walks away from his plane with a broken nose after he made a forced landing in a field. Dr. Richard Munk of Sylvania walks away from his plane with a broken nose after he made a forced landing in a field.

The pilot of a single-engine airplane walked away from an emergency landing in a Springfield Township pumpkin field that flipped his plane.

Dr. Richard Munk, 58, of Sylvania lost power in his Cessna 210N and steered the plane to an abrupt landing about 3:30 p.m. in a wet, muddy field just northwest of Angola and Holland-Sylvania Road.

The front landing gear buried in the mud and flipped the plane, with the tail smashed and the propeller bent.

Dr. Munk, a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, was returning from Long Island and heading toward Toledo Express Airport, Sheriff James Telb said. He was treated for a broken nose.

Chris Rupley of South Toledo was in his car waiting at a traffic light near the crash site when he and his wife spotted the plane.

“We saw this plane flying really low, and it was wobbling really bad,” he said. “He hit the ground and the plane flipped over. The nose dug into the ground and the tail flipped over the top.”

Mr. Rupley pulled over to the side of the road and ran to help. When he reached the plane about a minute after the crash, Dr. Munk was standing on the upside-down plane's wing with a gash on his face.

The problems started when the engine cut out as Dr. Munk was flying at about 2,500 or 2,600 feet.

He tried to restart the engine before looking for a landing option. With little altitude and dropping 1,000 feet a minute, time was not on his side.

“You have about two minutes to pick out a field,” he said.

Luckily, he was in western Lucas County and he had options. But one - the CYO athletic fields north and east of Angola and Holland-Sylvania - was full of children playing football. At the last minute he decided to land in the plowed field instead of a nearby golf driving range.

Dr. Munk, who has been flying since 1976, said he didn't know if the plane could be repaired.

“It may be worse than it looks. It may not be as bad as it looks,” he said.

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