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One hurt in single-engine plane crash at Yuba County Airport
A Beale Air Force training pilot was injured Saturday when his airplane crashed into a field south of the Yuba County Airport.
Maj. James Grogan was taken to Rideout Regional Medical Center with moderate injuries, authorities said.
Grogan, 46, complained of pain in his back, hip and leg after his Cessna 172F fell out of the sky shortly after takeoff around 4 p.m., authorities said.
Another man in the plane, whose name was not available, was not hurt, Yuba County sheriff's deputies said.
"I heard it take off and the engine quit," said witness Les Sanders. "It circled around and the wing tip hit the ground and it flipped over."
Sheriff's Sgt. Wencel Kemp said the cause of the crash was unclear Saturday night.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration's online registry, and markings on the tail, the plane is registered to the Beale's Aero Club. Sanders confirmed Grogan is a pilot trainer at Beale.
Air Force officials declined comment Saturday.
Richard Clinton, a pilot from Fair Oaks, said the plane climbed about 200 feet before the engine abruptly cut out.
"It just quit all at once. There was no sputtering," Clinton said.
Despite his injuries, Grogan managed to climb out of the overturned plane, firefighters said.
Kemp said no fuel leaked from the plane.
A small grass fire broke out after the crash, but authorities said emergency responder vehicles may have sparked the flames driving over the wild field grass. The plane never caught fire, Kemp confirmed.
The plane's wings, tail and nose sustained minor damage. The front wheel was torn off in the wreck.
Deputy James Perin said the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the incident.
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