News From Terre Haute, Indiana


September 27, 2013

Small plane lands safely in farm field

Two men was flying from Wisconsin to Mississippi on business

TERRE HAUTE — Two Wisconsin men walked away from an emergency landing on Thursday in a harvested corn field along Ryman Road, about a quarter of a mile east of Indiana 63 South in Vigo County.

Pilot Lee Schmalz said the plane’s engine developed problems, forcing him to look for a place to land.

“There were too many trees around Terre Haute’s airport, and this looked like a good place,” Schmalz said of the corn field.

Clark Cottom, Vigo County chief deputy sheriff, said the pilot radioed into Terre Haute International Airport-Hulman Field that he was experiencing engine trouble and requested an emergency landing, but could not make the airport. The airport then notified emergency responders, Cottom said.

Schmalz and passenger Joe Kobussen, who are next door neighbors in Kaukauna, Wis., located about 22 miles southwest of Green Bay, were headed to Mississippi on a business trip.

The plane was flying at about 7,000 feet when the four-cylinder 1974 Piper Arrow’s engine developed trouble, about four miles from where they landed.

The plane “was shaking, and there was smoke in the cabin,” Schmalz said.

“I was very nervous,” Kobussen said. “It happened so fast. I just trusted in Lee that he knew what he was doing. The landing was really nice. Lee put it down really well.”

Schmalz, a pilot since 1969, said he has had to make other emergency landings.

“You just have to be ready, and you do a lot of practicing for this type of thing,” he said.

After landing, Schmalz said he examined the plane and found a piston rod had pushed through the side of the engine. Kobussen said that before the landing the two had planned to set down within a half hour to refuel.

The red plane, which landed upright about 3:15 p.m., will be towed off the field for repairs. The two, Kobussen said, expected to rent a car to return to Wisconsin. The cornfield is owned Larry Hunt of Sullivan County, Cottom said. The was no damage to the property.

The Federal Aviation Administration advised the sheriff’s department it planned to inspect the plane Thursday evening, Cottom said.

Reporter Howard Greninger can be reached at 812-231-4204 or

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Raw: Massive 7.2 Earthquake Rocks Mexico Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Today in History for April 18th Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign
NDN Video
Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station My name is Cocaine Lohan Gets Candid About Her Sex List The 2014 New York Auto Show Meet Johnny Manziel's New Girlfriend Chelsea Clinton Announces Pregnancy Funny: Celebrating Easter with Martha Stewart and Friends Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Man hit with $525 federal fine after he doesn't pay for soda refill Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper New West, Texas Explosion Video Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010

Real Estate News