Pilot, passenger hospitalized after plane crashes at Elser airport

NORTH LIMA — An Illinois man received serious injuries in an airplane accident at the Elser Metro Airport on Sharrott Road.

According to Michael Stanko, airport owner, the open-cockpit biplane was making passes over the airport at about 1 p.m. Monday. He said that as it made a third pass over the airport, the plane showed signs of trouble.

“It almost looked like it literally just fell out of the sky,” he said.

Shawn Rogers, a dispatcher at the Ohio State Highway Patrol Canfield barracks, identified the pilot of the plane as Michael Mallory, 56, of Texas. His injuries were not life-threatening, Rogers said. He said the passenger, Malcom Campbell of Hastings, Ill., received serious injuries. He believed that both men were taken to St. Elizabeth Health Center, where no information was available on them Monday night.

No one on the ground was injured.

Stanko said the accident is the first at the airport in at least five years.

Rogers said the plane lost power and crashed about 100 yards east of Sherrott Road after making a second “touch and go,” a technique for practicing landings. The plane was headed to Chicago after leaving the local airport, Rogers said.

The Federal Aviation Administration came to the site to begin investigating the cause of the accident Monday afternoon.

Rogers said the highway patrol’s report on the accident didn’t say why the plane crashed.