Two Off-Airport Pedestrians Injured By Aircraft Attempting To Land


It’s highly unusual for people on the ground to be injured by an airplane crash or emergency landing. But it does happen.

Yesterday (April 1), two pedestrians on a walking trail less than a half-mile from the Delaware County Regional Airport in Muncie, Indiana, were injured by a single-engine Piper that came down short of the landing runway. It’s unclear whether the walkers were struck by aircraft debris or, possibly, branches from trees, according to the Delaware County Sheriff’s Department. The two on the ground and the sole-occupant pilot were transported to local hospitals with unknown injuries, according to local news reports, though the town of Muncie reportedly announced early on that all three suffered serious injuries.

Chief Deputy Jeff Stanley of the Sheriff’s Department said, “That’s a bad day. They’re out doing some exercise, going for a walk, and the next thing you know they’re being struck by a plane. It’s very unfortunate. We’re praying for the best for everyone involved.”

Airport manager Tim Baty told the news sources that the Piper was inbound to the airport and crashed less than a mile from the runway. The accident occurred at 10:26 a.m., he said.

Mark Phelps
Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.


  1. That is indeed a bad day, certainly for the hikers, but also for GA. More pressure on the airport, even though they were likely there first.

  2. Hey, I got hit by a car when riding my bike. (True story). They need to close down the streets to keep cars out!

    • People seem to accept 30,000 deaths a year in automobiles. Now getting hit while riding your bike at least in the Washington DC area the answer is to shut down lanes, create more traffic congestion and build bike lanes no one uses.

    • We laugh but read some of the comments sections when these things appear in the MSM. Hit people with a car and nobody cares, but hit someone with a plane and everyone loses their minds

      • Buildings aren’t for cars, yet vehicles crash into buildings. This really isn’t that much different.

  3. Curious if these hikers were wearing ear buds or on their phones and totally oblivious to what’s going on around them.

  4. Clearly, this was the fault of the hikers. I know this from reading the comments. After all, how can they go hiking without being vigilant enough to avoid having an airplane fall on their heads?

    Besides, we “accept” tens of thousands of highway deaths every year. In fact, in my town, people who don’t own a car and who don’t drive aren’t the least bit upset when a driver mows them down while they are walking on the sidewalk. They know it’s their own fault for not getting out of the way of the car.

  5. Seems most people don’t have enough information other than the headlines…? So yet to the many who posted about this unfortunate accident, it makes it sound like the people were the ones who purposely hit the airplane… Yes, the very idea that somehow people who were not protected with airbags and crash helmets and crumple zones are at fault for not being prepared for an accident and an act of the airplane gods. Yes, those who have the right to come down wherever they need to including anywhere…schools, churches, playgrounds, and
    any building… So if the people on the ground get hit well it seems many of some people’s posts want to blame the people on the ground… And just wait till they get them in court and with the pictures of actual people being hit or the conditions of what happened to them. May have a different perspective…about the tragic situation of the victims…

  6. It is so sad that three people had their lives changed so suddenly in this way. I pray that they all will recover.