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Mitchell-bound plane crashes in Nevada

RENO, Nev. — A small airplane headed for Mitchell and the AirVenture Cup Cross Country Air Race had engine trouble Saturday, striking a pickup truck during an emergency landing on a Nevada highway, authorities said.

The two people in the plane and the two passengers in the truck suffered minor injuries.

Mitchell Municipal Airport Manager Mike Scherschligt said he didn't know much about the incident but believed the racers intended to come to Mitchell for the race's start on Sunday.

According to the race program, the pilot of the plane that crashed, Fred Roscher, and his colleague Jim Adams were entered in the Mitchell-based race with the same plane that had to make the emergency landing.

The crash occurred shortly after the plane left Reno Stead Airport en route to Mitchell, with a fuel stop planned for Wyoming.

At least two people were aboard the plane and two people were in the truck when the collision occurred about 9 a.m. on a rural, two-lane section of Nevada Route 445 about 20 miles north of Reno, Nevada Highway Patrol Lt. Kevin Honea said.

"Anytime you hear about a plane versus car, you're thinking the worst," Honea said. "I'm happy to report that nobody had to be transported to the hospital."

The truck was heading north on the 40-mile-long highway, which links the Reno area and a desert lake.

The plane, an experimental Thunder Mustang, was forced to land on the highway after losing power, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

The single-engine plane was made by Frederick Roscher in 2011 and was registered to 51 Aero Leasing of Cupertino, Calif., according to FAA records.

The race program said the aircraft had 200 hours of flight time and had been used in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the AirVenture race.

Roscher also was identified as the pilot. The names of the other three people were not immediately released.

Honea said the plane caught fire and was destroyed, but he was unsure of the extent of the damage to the truck. One of the people aboard the plane suffered cuts from glass, he added.

The crash is under investigation by the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board.

-- The Associated Press' Martin Griffith contributed to this report.