PITTSVILLE — A state Department of Natural Resources plane being used to help spot grass fires crashed today, killing the pilot, authorities said.

Tom Korte, a dispatcher for the Wood County Dispatch Center, said the pilot was the only person onboard the plane, which the Federal Aviation Administration described as a multiengine, Cessna 337 manufactured in 1967.

The name of the pilot was not immediately released. DNR spokeswoman Laurel Steffes in Madison did not immediately return a telephone message.

Kelly Zenz, manager of the Wood County Dispatch Center, said the crash occurred about 2:30 p.m. in a field about six miles southwest of Marshfield. The plane was being used to help observe a wildfire as Pittsville firefighters worked on the ground along Wood County V.

The crash occurred near 6402 Highway V in the town of Cary.

“It was in the DNR intensive area, which means the DNR units were there, so they bring in the plane,” Zenz said. “Something malfunctioned to where he crashed.”

The crash occurred in a field next to the fire, he said.

Richard Luther of Pittsville, who lives about three miles from the crash site, said he and his wife heard about a grass fire in the area and drove over to check it out.

Luther said he saw the plane circling the fire and then “it went straight down.”

The National Transportation Safety Board will lead an investigation, FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said.

From the green bay press gazette

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If anyone hears about funeral arrangements, please post them here, or contact me directly.
Thank you.
RIP Brother



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