Crop dusting pilot killed in Branch County crash


BETHEL TOWNSHIP – An airplane crash Saturday afternoon claimed the life of the pilot.

Sergeant Todd Price of the Michigan State Police says troopers were sent to a field northeast of Kosmerick and Snow Prairie Roads in Bethel Township at 5:29 PM because of an airplane crash.

Their investigation revealed that a single engine aircraft had been crop dusting and crashed in a field. The pilot, identified as 25 year old Phillip Ching, appears to have died on impact, but an autopsy will be conducted to determine the official cause of death.

Price says Ching is originally from Elsie, Michigan, but was staying in Middlebury, Indiana for the summer to work for Lutes Flying Company, the owner of the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration is helping MSP with the investigation. The Bronson Fire Department and Life Care Ambulance were also called to the scene.

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