July 23, 2014

Elyria
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Experimental plane crashes at airport

NEW RUSSIA TWP. — A pilot practicing landing and take-off maneuvers at Lorain County Regional Airport on Monday evening crashed his plane after the engine failed, Ohio Highway Patrol troopers said.
The pilot, Daniel T. Chrapczyski, 55, of Sheffield, was not injured, Trooper Scott Roark said.
Chrapczyski was flying an M1 Midget Mustang –— a single-engine, single-seat experimental plane that he’d just finished building last year, Roark said.
“He was doing what they call ‘ups-and-downs,’ ” Roark said. “What he was trying to do was take off a little, land, take off … to test the engine.”
Shortly after 7:30 p.m., the engine failed when Chrapczyski was taking off and was about 15 feet off the ground, traveling at about 75 mph, Roark said.
The engine malfunction forced Chrapczyski to land the plane in a grass median next to a runway on the airport, Roark said.
The plane’s landing gear collapsed when Chrapczyski touched down, but the gear was designed to collapse a bit to give the pilot a softer landing, Roark said.
The plane skidded in the grass, and Chrapczyski got out before emergency crews arrived.
The aircraft sustained minor damage to its propeller, landing gear and a piece of plastic underneath the engine, Roark said, adding that the plane’s engine didn’t catch fire upon landing and it did not leak any fuel.
Roark said Chrapczyski is a licensed pilot, and his plane was inspected and certified by the FAA in January of 2006.
Chrapczyski started building the plane some 22 years ago, and just finished it last year. He was not cited for the crash, Roark said.
“It was engine failure, not a (pilot’s) mistake,” Roark said.
Contact Shawn Foucher at 329-7197 or sfoucher@chroniclet.com.

071707plane.jpgsteve manheim / chronicle
Oberlin firefighters and Highway Patrol troopers look over the site where a small plane crashed Monday.