World War II plane crashes in Wichita after Memorial Day flyovers
A World War II plane that had just finished flying over area ceremonies and cemeteries for Memorial Day crash-landed near Wichita's Westport Airport on Monday afternoon.
The 1943 Fairchild M-62C, or PT-23A, plane was part of the Commemorative Air Force-Jayhawk Wing that was doing flyovers across the state for Memorial Day, Wichita police Sgt. Kelly O'Brien said. The PT-23 was a trainer plane for the U.S. Army Air Force.
The plane was southbound for the airport, near Kessler and Pawnee, when the engine failed just after noon, O'Brien said. The plane landed on the north side of Pawnee. The airstrip is on the south side of Pawnee.
The plane's right wing clipped the ground and at least one pole, O'Brien said.
"Thankfully they missed the fueling vessels that are over there and there was no fire with the plane or anything else," O'Brien said.
Two people — a male pilot and female passenger — received minor injuries and were taken to a hospital for stitches, O'Brien said. The pilot was a 46-year-old man from Mulvane, a Kansas Highway Patrol crash report states.
"Pilot ran out of fuel approaching the runway at Westport Airport and attempted to restart the engine," the crash report states. "Engine failed to start and plane crashed leading up to the runway."
The airport is also known as Dead Cow International.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.