- Associated Press - Wednesday, April 12, 2017

HARTSVILLE, Ind. (AP) - Authorities say 77-year-old Michigan pilot has died after his small plane crashed in southern Indiana.

Ren Sagaert of Shelby Township, Michigan, was pronounced dead at the scene by Bartholomew County Coroner Clayton Nolting. An autopsy is scheduled for Thursday.

The Bartholomew County Sheriff’s Office says Sagaert was the only occupant of the plane. The Temco Swift aircraft had taken off from a nearby grass airstrip when it crashed shortly before 1 p.m. Wednesday near Hartsville, about 45 miles (70 kilometers) southeast of Indianapolis.

Nearby resident Jim Fritsche tells The (Columbus) Republic he heard the plane’s engine start, then cut out, followed by a “big bang.”

The newspaper reports the air strip is owned by Mike Williams, who works on the engines of planes that fly into the airstrip.

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