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UPDATE: More information released about plane landing

Saturday, March 20, 2010

The pilot of a small engine plane safely landed in the median of United States 40 near the Clay/Putnam county line shortly before 7:20 p.m., Friday evening. Ivy Jacobs Photo. [Order this photo]
UPDATED AT 10:55 a.m., Saturday, March 20

A pilot made a successful emergency landing on United States 40 near the Clay/Putnam County line shortly before 7:30 p.m., Friday evening.

According to information provided by the Putnamville District of the Indiana State Police, John H. Snyder, 66, Carmel, and a 13-year-old unidentified passenger were flying to Terre Haute from Toledo, Ohio, when the single-engine Cessna 177 lost all power.

Snyder told authorities he turned the four-seat plane eastbound to locate an acceptable landing location.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane fly just over the top of vehicles traveling on the road in Clay County before it landed and came to a stop facing east just on the other side of Putnam County line at the intersection of County Road 500 East (County Road 900 West in Putnam County).

The plane sustained minor damage to the left wing as it hit a few highway signs during the landing.

No vehicles or persons on the ground were injured during the emergency landing.

Declining transport to a medical facility, Snyder was treated at the scene for minor cuts and abrasions. The passenger, a family friend, was not injured.

Per protocols, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are in charge of the investigation.

Traffic was rerouted around the closed portion of US 40 to insure the integrity of the crash site investigation and safe removal of the aircraft. Curtis Garage & Wrecker Service, Stilesville, Ind., was authorized to load the plane on a flatbed and remove it to the Greencastle Airport for further investigation.

No official cause of the engine failure has been released by the FAA or NTSB at this time.

Local emergency response personnel from the Clay County Sheriff's Department, Clay County Search and Rescue, Van Buren Volunteer Fire Department, Wayne Township (Putnam County) Volunteer Fire Department, Putnam County Sheriff's Department, Indiana Department of Transportation and TransCare also responded to the scene.

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There's an open field just yards away. It's strange that the pilot would endanger lives to save the integrity of his plane.

This guy should be charged with criminal wrecklessness.

But, we've got Lee Reburger as a prosecutor.

That ain't gonna happen.

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 12:24 PM

GOP's input reminds me of what P.T. Barnum is credited with saying: "I don't care what they write about me, as long as they spell my name right."

-- Posted by Dagnabbit on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 12:33 PM


Would not federal FAA guys have first option at filing charges anyway before local authorities could? Seems to wait would be prudent so as not to use local finances to prosecute if feds are going to. After all no big rush. It's not like counties will lose their chance if they aren't there right away...Not even sure which jurisdiction can prosecute anyhow...Did plane actually touch ground in Clay County?? From what I read it came to rest in Putnam. Sounds like you have personal grudge against Mr Reberger. I'm sure counties will present him with a bill for damages and his insurance will pay whether or not local charges are filed.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 2:33 PM

Wow. Once again GOPsweep2010, you have shown yourself to be incompetent. Of course we should find some way to blame the prosecutor -how about the police? Could they not have arrested the pilot on the spot? How about the judges? Couldn't they have radioed in some order to restrict his landing - oh the farmer who owned the field... he should have kept it drier "just in case" a plane needed to land. Lets blame the prosecutor and police for the drug manufacture too, they apparently are encouraging it. Your vindictiveness is apparent and it is obvious that your views are tarnished by bias and cannot be taken seriously. I agree with Ms. Moore - you hold a grudge - case not go your way at some point?

-- Posted by uglyfish on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 4:09 PM

I think if you had read the report you would have seen that it says the Putnamville State Police are working the investigation because it happened primarily in Putnam County; therefore Clay County's prosecutor wouldnt have anything to do with it anyway. If it had said the Terre Haute State Police then he would. Either way, no one was hurt and no charges should be filed. That would be like filing charges on every car accident that left the road. ACCIDENT being the key word here. Thank God no one was hurt.

-- Posted by lifehasitsmoments on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 5:32 PM

Can we discuss the meaning of "personal vendetta" so that GOPsweep2010 can understand a topic before commenting on it?

-- Posted by Cy on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 5:40 PM

omg you all seriously need a life

-- Posted by SKCC on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 6:04 PM

Really - accidents happen - everyoned is safe. Can GOPsweep2010 keep politics out of something that has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with politics? quit harping - be glad we are not mourning the loss of a man and a child in the plane or a person on the highway.

-- Posted by bigcarnival on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 7:06 PM

People I guess NO ONE got what they wanted for X-mas. A SENSE OF HUMOR !!

Can you not get your shorts out of the bind enough to have a FEW laughs? I bet your A HOOT at a party?

Anyway I'm sure our local LAW ENFOREMENT is use to a little ribbing.Keep the seriousness for the bad days PLEASE(I don't say please alot so don't make me sorry for doing it now)IT's SPRING BE NICE!

-- Posted by Cardonia Redneck on Sat, Mar 20, 2010, at 7:46 PM

I am a private pilot. This guy did the emergency landing per protocol. I would have not landed in an open field, but the median. This is an FAA matter and will be investigated. If an engine went out or there were other issues the plane had, there is nothing criminal about landing a plane in the median. It is emergency landing protocol.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Sun, Mar 21, 2010, at 1:03 PM


You wouldn't have landed in an open, barren field, but would instead risk the lives of those traveling on the highway?

Sounds like a character judgement, doesn't it?

-- Posted by GOPsweep2010 on Sun, Mar 21, 2010, at 4:11 PM

Absolutely not. I would have made the same landing. The fields would have been too soft to land in. Defintely not a character judgement.

-- Posted by Criminology08 on Sun, Mar 21, 2010, at 11:59 PM

I was always told that highways and interstates have a certain amount of straight road incase of emergencies like this one. If this is true, then the guy made a good choice (I think it was a good choice anyway). And really... if I saw a plane that looked like it was close to the ground, or close to hitting me, I'm sure I would stop, or turn around, or do something to get out of the way, not just keep going in the same direction. People on the road have a little bit more control of a situation like that than a guy in an airplane with no power.

-- Posted by tsl2010 on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 9:08 AM

It's wonderful news that no one was injured .. very happy to hear that. Having been in a two-seater myself, I believe the pilot did the right thing by landing on a hard surface.

The part that struck a chord with me is realizing there is no way I would allow my 13yo daughter to ride in a two-seater plane with a 66yo male 'family friend'. I find it strange that the pilot declined medical transport - even for cuts/abrasions (trauma could be well hidden).

Given the disturbing things that happen to children every day in this country .. I'm glad this child was unharmed.

-- Posted by Emmes on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 12:25 PM

Let's review the details here...forced landing due aircraft lost all power...controlled the unpowered aircraft while selecting most suitable area to touchdown...utilized the glide characteristics of aircraft and available altitude until probable touchdown area could be pinpointed...selected divided highway w/median as safest area to land (as opposed to soft fields with tree lines and/or other obstacles)...RESULT= Both occupants survive, NO persons or vehicles on ground involved, minimal damage to aircraft....sounds like Captain Snyder has the right stuff, folks...my 'Congrats' to him on a very professionally managed emergency situation. Good job!

-- Posted by OldDawg on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 12:36 PM

Theerrrreee's something on the wing.. SOME.. THING!!

-- Posted by LexCougar on Mon, Mar 22, 2010, at 4:29 PM

You may deviate from any rule or regulation of the FAA to meet an emergency,

As far as the posters comment that he had a female 13 yrs old family friend with him is just a crock of bull,in your mind.Did you stop to consider that this man may have been with her parents when she was born.My daughter flew all over the US with a friend of ours,not a problem.

A stranger perhaps,but I am going to assume this was an old family friend.

-- Posted by T-REX on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 11:08 AM


Yes you are correct...it was either FDR or Truman, that actually made the interstates to help with troop movement in case of an attack. Every mile or so of them had to be straight so a fighter jet (or small plane like Snyders) could land on it. ANY pilot would have done the same thing, besides I highly doubt that when he was going in for the landing he was focusing on the field, most of the time an emergency landing is just that...an emergency. Did you see Cpt. Sully look for an open field or somewhere else convenient to land? No it was an emergency so he went in the water where there were boats around because it was the closest way to get down safely.

-- Posted by Indymove on Wed, Mar 24, 2010, at 3:08 PM

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