2012-10-23 / Front Page

Crash Of Experimental Class Aircraft Injures Local Pilot


Vernon E. Bothwell, Jr., age 90, was the pilot of this single-engine plane which experienced complete motor failure causing Bothwell to make an emergency landing. ( Vernon E. Bothwell, Jr., age 90, was the pilot of this single-engine plane which experienced complete motor failure causing Bothwell to make an emergency landing. ( Last week, the Indiana State Police and Putnam County emergency agencies responded to a report of a downed aircraft in an open field near the 2400 block of East County Road 1000 South, Cloverdale.

Preliminary investigation revealed a 1986 fixed wing, single engine, model “Woody Pusher,” registered in the Experimental class, Amateur Built category to Vernon E. Bothwell Jr. (90 years old and also the pilot) experienced complete motor failure causing Bothwell to make an emergency landing in an open field. As the plane landed, it flipped over onto its top injuring Mr. Bothwell. He was able to free himself from the aircraft prior to arrival of emergency services and taken to the Putnam County Hospital for treatment of a possible ankle fracture and head laceration. Bothwell had taken off just minutes earlier from his private airstrip near 4561 South CR 325 West, Cloverdale, Indiana, which was approximately two miles from the crash site. Bothwell is believed to be an experienced pilot dating back to World War II and his injuries did not immediately appear to be life threatening.

The Federal Aviation Administration will be conferring with ISP personnel on the scene and then assuming the lead on this investigation.

The ISP crash investigation was completed by Senior Trooper DuJuan Presley-McFadden. Assisting were the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, Putnam County EMS, Cloverdale Fire/Rescue, Cloverdale Police Department and the Federal Aviation Administration.

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