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The crop dusting plane that crashed at the Winner Regional Airport suffered significant damage to its nose and motor Tuesday night when it failed to take off. The plane remained just off the runway Wednesday as the crash was being investigated.(Submitted photo from Don Bice)
The crop dusting plane that crashed at the Winner Regional Airport suffered significant damage to its nose and motor Tuesday night when it failed to take off. The plane remained just off the runway Wednesday as the crash was being investigated.(Submitted photo from Don Bice)

Pilot in Winner plane crash released from hospital

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news Mitchell, 57301

Mitchell South Dakota 120 South Lawler 57301

WINNER -- A Winner pilot who crashed a crop-dusting plane Tuesday night has been released from the hospital.

Joe Schneller lost control of his Air Tractor AT-301 plane while attempting to take off around 8:45 p.m. He owns Semper Fi Aviation, which is based in Winner.

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Schneller was brought to the Winner Regional Healthcare Center after suffering from chemical inhalation and later was released.

Don Bice, the Winner Regional Airport manager, said the plane was traveling into 12 mph wind during takeoff. Bice said Schneller was not able to elevate the plane, lost control and proceeded to run off the runway. The plane flipped and turned over onto its top before coming to a rest. No official cause of the crash has been determined.

The single-engine fixed wing plane was heavily damaged, with the motor and the nose of the plane torn off and sitting alongside the wreckage and some of the landing equipment damaged. The plane's front propeller ripped through the grass in front of the plane 10 or 15 times, Bice said.

There were no other people on the plane when the crash occurred.

"It's not a small plane," Bice said. "It has 600 horsepower and it's pretty sturdy."

Bice said the Federal Aviation Administration was on hand Wednesday to examine the crash site and to investigate the incident.

The Winner Police Department, Tripp County Ambulance and the Winner Fire Department also responded to the scene of the crash Tuesday night.

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