- Associated Press - Wednesday, March 2, 2016

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. (AP) - A 1946 Navy biplane crashed while taking off Wednesday from Palm Springs International Airport, injuring two people, authorities said.

The Boeing Stearman PT-17 crashed onto the runway while taking off shortly before 1 p.m. and received substantial damage, said Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.

“Looks like the plane took off, radioed they were having engine problems and needed to return, and crashed while landing,” Gregor said in an email.

The single-engine plane wound up on its belly instead of its wheels, but there was no fire, Palm Springs Deputy Fire Chief Ron Beverly said. “It looked like a hard landing. The plane is still intact,” he said.

The two-seat, open-cockpit plane is registered to the Palm Springs Air Museum.

The rugged plane was used as a pilot trainer in the 1930s and 1940s. It also was used for crop dusting and aerobatics. A Stearman PT-17 crop duster chases Cary Grant through a field in a classic scene in the Alfred Hitchcock movie “North by Northwest.”

The two people aboard managed to get out of the aircraft on their own and were taken to a hospital, but there was no immediate word on their conditions, Beverly said.

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