A ground accident at Smith Field in Fort Wayne about 5:30 p.m. Tuesday left a small plane damaged but no one injured.
Scott Hinderman, executive director of airports for the Fort Wayne-Allen County Airport Authority, said the two-seater, single-engine plane was being fueled at the north-side airport along Ludwig Road when the pilot rotated the propeller to start the engine.
For an unknown reason, Hinderman said, the plane “lurched forward, and a wing clipped a light pole.”
The right wing and the right landing gear assembly were damaged, as likely was some of the fabric covering of the plane, an unusual vintage high-wing Aeronca with tandem, or front-to-back, seating, he said.
“You would call it a hobby plane,” Hinderman said.
He said he did not know how much damage was involved or why the plane was being fueled. The plane did not crash, he said. “It was never off the ground.”
Hinderman said the accident will be investigated by the airport authority and a report sent to the Federal Aviation Administration. Federal authorities will not investigate because no crash and no injuries occurred, he said.
No information about the pilot will be available until the report is filed, Hinderman said. He said he did not know how much repairing the damage will cost.
On Tuesday, the plane sat at a tilted angle, with its right wingtip tilted to the ground and the right door open. The light standard appeared undamaged and the light was still on.
“This is a time of thanksgiving, and we're thankful tonight there were no injuries,” Hinderman said.