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Plane with no pilot takes off in Merrick County

It crashed, but no-one was hurt
Unmanned plane eventually ends up in a corn field
Unmanned plane eventually ends up in a corn field(Merrick County Sheriff's Office)
Published: May. 5, 2021 at 7:49 AM CDT|Updated: May. 5, 2021 at 4:04 PM CDT
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CENTRAL CITY, Neb. (KSNB) - An unmanned plane undergoing maintenance took off on its own and eventually crashed in rural Merrick County.

The Merrick County Sheriff’s Office reported that it happened around 7:30 Tuesday night when the plane took off with no one on board from the runway of the Central City airport.

The plane reached an altitude of 200 feet and traveled for about a mile-and-a-half before crashing in a cornfield near 13th Road and M Road.

You may be wondering how a plane took off with nobody on board. Merrick County Sgt. Jake Bauer said this plane is a simple plane with no automatic starter or key ignition. He said to get it going you hand prop it.

He said it’s very easy for the engine to throttle up to a level that would not allow the pilot to catch the plane.

Sgt. Bauer said with the plane undergoing maintenance, when the technician went to check his work, the plane started and traveled out of his control.

The plane was manufactured in 1941, and following the crash is considered a total loss.

The FAA and NTSB were contacted and the scene was cleared by officials with both agencies. There were no injuries reported from the crash.

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