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Plane crash-lands amid fireball near Oakland County airport, pilot killed

10:35 PM, Jan 10, 2014   |    comments
Waterford, Mich. (Jan. 10, 2014 courtesy photo)
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WATERFORD, Mich. (WZZM) -- One person was killed Friday night in a small plane crash near Oakland County International Airport in Waterford, according to a fire official.

Waterford Fire Capt. John Lyman said the aircraft crashed at about 7:45 p.m. in a wooded area near a boat launch at the Pontiac Lake State Recreation Area. He went to the scene after seeing a glow on the ground and then a large fireball rise above treetops when he was driving nearby on M-59, just west of the airport.

"It was in pieces on fire," he said of the plane.

Lyman said the pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. No one else was in the plane, he said. No one on the ground was injured.

The cause of the crash was not immediately clear late tonight. Citing information received from the airport, Lyman said the pilot had been trying to land. It was extremely foggy at the time, he said.

Lyman said the location of the plane required firefighters to use extinguishers rather than hoses to put out the blaze. They also used chainsaws to help clear brush out of the way, he said.

"We had to fight our way through the woods. It was like 150 yards down this snowmobile trail, and other 50 yards into the woods," he said.

An airport official could not immediately be reached.

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