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Small Plane Crashes at Cortland Airport during Takeoff Attempt

Local News

Authorities are investigating a single-engine plane crash that occurred just before 6 p.m. on Christmas Eve at the Cortland County-Chase Field airport on State Route 222.

Members of the Cortland County Sheriff’s Department responded to the scene and say the pilot was the only person onboard.

He told them he was practicing takeoffs and landings for about an hour prior to the accident, but lost his control while attempting another takeoff and struck a snowbank, causing the aircraft to overturn onto its roof.

The pilot, who at this point is not being identified, was able to exit the craft on his own and was immediately brought to a nearby hospital by way of a private vehicle.

He’s currently being treated for a head laceration sustained in the crash, which isn’t expected to be life-threatening.

Criminal Investigator Lt. Todd Caufield says the Sheriff’s Office immediately contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), which will continue assisting local authorities with their investigation.

The airport’s runway was closed for more than three hours while crews removed the plane and cleaned up the crash area.

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