(WEAU) - A witness says the pilot, David Worganese, landed about a mile from where his engine started to malfunction.
He says he heard the pilot try to restart his engine, but wasn't successful. Instead he clipped a nearby fence while trying to make an emergency landing in a field.
"Well I come home to a circus. Everybody was standing out by the road looking this way and we have bird watchers that are out here. We drove in the yard, it was a real rare one out here standing on its nose,” said Ronnie Woodford, property owner.
Ronnie Woodford has owned the land for 43 years and he never thought he'd see a red biplane in his field.
"He probably skidded what 40 feet, which I've seen people get hurt doing that. He was lucky," said Woodford.
The pilot didn't want to talk to us, but the Chippewa County Sheriff's Department says he was shaken up after the crash and agrees he was lucky.
They say they haven't seen a plane crash in the area for a couple of years.
"We certainly don't investigate them that often and quite often we do investigate them their not very good results," said Lt. Mitch Gibson, Chippewa County Sheriff’s Department.
Even though no one got hurt, the police and fire department were worried the plane could explode because it was leaking fuel after the crash,
"Didn't catch fire, and probably would have caught a fire right away if it was going to,” said Woodford.
But that didn't stop the pilot and others like Ronnie from helping get the plane back on level ground by lassoing it down.
"I told the pilot if I help him get it down and everything, he owes me a ride but he's got to fix it first," said Woodford.
The plane has been moved from the crash site and the pilot hopes to salvage the parts.
According to biplane.com, approximately 600 of these planes were made from1938 to 1942
The Waco biplane was originally developed as a World War II trainer.
Today, fewer than 80 remain flying.
Jim Falls, Wis. (WEAU) - A small plane crashed Monday afternoon just outside Jim Falls.
Witnesses say it crashed about 2 miles south of town near County Road K.
The plane crashed in a field, on its nose, with heavy damage.
WEAU's Courtney Everett talked to a witness who called in the accident.
He said he heard the pilot from the plane, saying he was OK.
The pilot, 67-year-old David Worgernese of Eau Claire, tried restarting the engine to no avail.
He already left the scene by the time news crews arrived.
The plane was leaking fuel after the crash and crews worked to contain that problem.
A quick background check shows the plane is registered out of Whitefish, Montana to a company called Minocqua Holdings.
The tail number is registered to a 1941 Waco UPF-7, a single engine bi-plane.
According to biplaneride.com, there were about 600 of these planes produced from 1938-1942.
The plane was originally developed as a WWII trainer.
Fewer than 80 remain today.
Most are in museums.
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