The plane slid into the woods,striking a number of trees, causing extensive damage.


ROXBURY, N.Y. -- A Mentor man who is a popular pilot in local Northeast Ohio air shows is in Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown, New York after the plane that he was flying crashed here Friday.

The New York State Police say that, just before 12:30 p.m. Friday, the Delaware County 911 dispatched New York State Police and local fire/EMS to an airplane crash in the area of North Montgomery Hollow Road.

They found that a 1943 North American twin-seat AT-6C fixed-wing single propeller aircraft, operated by pilot, James P. Leavelle, 45, of Mentor, had attempted to land on a private grass airfield off of South Montgomery Hollow Road, due to an approaching weather system.

The plane's approaching forward momentum was too great to stop within the length of the field, state police said, and the pilot lifted back up for a second attempt.

Upon accelerating back up into the air, the aircraft clipped a number of trees and a power line, causing it to lose altitude and crash land in a field off of North Montgomery Hollow Road.

The plane slid into the woods,striking a number of trees, causing extensive damage.

Leavelle, who was conscious, was removed from the plane and flown by Life Flight to Bassett Medical Center in Cooperstown with a gash on his forehead.

State police say he was additionally diagnosed with a minor hairline fracture in one spinal disc in the neck area.

None of the injuries were life-threatening or debilitating, state police said.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were notified and authorized the release of the plane.

The p[lane was disassembled and towed to a local storage yard as the investigation continued.

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