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South of Grant, emergency vehicles drove through a cornfield to access the downed commercial spray plane in Perkins County Saturday, near the same time as a private plane crash in Chase County, south of Imperial.

Man flown out after plane goes down south of Imperial

In Perkins County, pilot from Tennessee dies in crop plane crash on same day

    Plane crashes in both Chase and Perkins County, happening about the same time Saturday morning, called emergency personnel to the two scenes.
    In Chase County, a private plane went down in a cornfield  near the intersection of 333 Avenue and 730 Road.
    In Perkins County, the pilot of a crop plane died after his aircraft went down in a cornfield seven miles south and a half mile east of Grant, or about three miles north of the Chase/Perkins county line.
    A release issued by Chase County Sheriff Kevin Mueller’s office said an emergency 911 call regarding a possible airplane crash in rural Chase County was received about 11:49 a.m. Saturday.  
    The 333/730 location is a few miles southwest of Enders Lake.
    The plane, a VANS RV-6 fixed wing single-engine aircraft, with two male passengers,  had reportedly gone down in cornfield shortly after takeoff.
    It landed not far from the grass airstrip on the property.
    Brothers Steve and Tim Leibbrandt were in the plane, according to reports from the scene. Both were transported to Chase County Community Hospital.
    Steve Leibbrandt, the pilot, was treated for minor injuries and released later Saturday from Chase County Hospital.
    Passenger Tim Leibbrandt sustained more serious, non-life threatening injuries. He was eventually transported to another medical facility in Colorado.
    Efforts for an update on Tim Leibbrandt’s recovery were unsuccessful.  
    The Chase County Sheriff’s Office, Imperial EMS and Imperial Volunteer Fire Department were called to the scene.
    Fire Chief Doug Mitchell said the IVFD took three units to the scene, where they were charged with making sure the scene was safe. There was no fire, Mitchell said.
    Sheriff Mueller said the cause of the accident remains undetermined.
    Mueller said the investigation has been turned over to investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Bureau (NTSB).
Perkins County crash
    A 31-year-old Tennessee man perished Saturday when the aerial spray plane he was piloting went down in a cornfield south of Grant.
    Perkins County Sheriff Jim Brueggeman identified the victim as Alex Tuttle of College Grove, Tennessee.
    Brueggeman said Tuttle was a contract pilot flying for Aurora Cooperative when the accident occurred. The plane was owned by Aurora Co-op.
    The call came in at 12:05 p.m. His office, along with the Grant and Madrid fire departments, were dispatched to scene.
    Brueggeman said another pilot spraying nearby lost sight of the plane and efforts to contact Tuttle were unsuccessful.
    After finishing the load, the pilot flew over the field and spotted the downed plane.
    Brueggeman said they believe the plane went down somewhere between 11:40 and 11:50 a.m.
    Perkins County Coroner Rick Roberts pronounced Tuttle dead at the scene. An autopsy was ordered since it was an unattended death.
    Investigators with the NTSB and FAA were on the scene Sunday, according to the sheriff.


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Imperial, NE 69033