Woman killed in plane crash near Brighton Airport - KMSP-TV

Victims identified in plane crash near Brighton Airport

Posted: Updated:
BRIGHTON, Mich. (WJBK) -

We now know the identities of the man and woman who were involved in Saturday's plane crash.  

PILOT:  Walter Davenport, age 79, of Brighton, MI.  He is currently hospitalized at the University of Michigan Hospital.

PASSENGER: Ana Ortega, age 56, citizen of Costa Rica.  Deceased at crash scene.

A 1940s-era, single-engine plane crashed Saturday morning in a swampy area near a southeastern Michigan airport, killing a female passenger and critically injuring the male pilot, authorities said.

Click on the video player to watch Robin Schwartz's report.

Brighton Area Fire Authority Fire Chief Michael O'Brian said the two-seat aircraft crashed in a wooded area on the edge of Woodland Lake near Brighton Airport in Livingston County. He said the pilot was extricated from the plane and flown to University of Michigan Hospitals in Ann Arbor, about 20 miles south of the crash.

Michigan State Police Lt. Dan Davis said authorities were not releasing the names of the victims until all family members were notified, but the pilot is a 79-year-old from Brighton who owns the plane. Davis said the woman was 56.

O'Brian said the plane took off from the small airport and crashed about a quarter of a mile away. Crews were trying to contain a fuel leak at the crash site, but it is full of trees and cattails and difficult to get into, he said.

"Crews had to cut a path," O'Brian said. "When they got to the edge of the water, they basically had to wade through the swampy area with their tools."

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Lynn Lunsford said it's unclear why the plane crashed, and the FAA is assisting the National Transportation Safety Board in investigating the crash.

O'Brian said it appears the pilot was attempting to turn the plane around at the time of the crash, based on how it landed. He said the tail is bent and the front of the plane is buried "pretty significantly."

According to FAA records, the Aeronca 7AC two-seater was built in 1946.

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