Plane crashes in McCullough
Published 7:30 pm Wednesday, January 30, 2008
By By Adrienne McKenzie
What might have been an everyday flight in a not-so-ordinary aircraft turned into a fatal accident when Chris Vanree, 21, crashed an ultralight plane into a field just north of the McCullough crossroads Sunday night.
The Escambia County Sheriff’s Department received a call at approximately 5:04 p.m. Sunday in response to a plane crash in McCullough.
Sgt. Adam Johnson and Deputy Bruce Shue responded to the call.
Witnesses also said that the plane caught fire when it hit the ground and that they pulled Vanree out of the aircraft.
Vanree was transported by Life Flight to Baptist Hospital after the accident. According to a hospital employee, he died while in the emergency room Sunday night. The Escambia County Sheriff’s Office later confirmed Vanree’s death.
Vanree, an Atmore area resident, was piloting an ultralight, which is a one to two passenger aircraft that resembles a hang glider. It is considered experimental and no license is required for operation under federal regulation.
Members of the McCullough Volunteer Fire Department, the Poarch Volunteer Fire Department, Atmore Ambulance and the Poarch Police Department also responded to the accident.
In a preliminary data report by the Federal Aviation Administration and posted on the organization’s Web site, the aircraft was described as a Freebird Sportlight 103 and was being driven by Vanree for “pleasure.”
The accident is still under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.