COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa — A small airplane crashed on Interstate 29 Thursday in western Iowa, killing the pilot who had just taken off from Omaha’s Eppley Airfield.
Pottawattamie County Sheriff Jeff Danker said the pilot was the sole occupant of the plane, which crashed just before noon. Firefighters and law enforcement briefly closed all lanes of the interstate and later restricted traffic to one lane in each direction for several miles. No other injuries were reported.
The plane crashed near mile marker 58 north of Council Bluffs. Danker said the pilot radioed to report engine problems and was trying to turn the plane around. The plane struck a power line during the crash, knocking down the wires.
Photos from the scene showed the plane lying upside down in a grassy area along the interstate with one of its wings ripped off.
Iowa State Patrol Sgt. Nathan Ludwig said investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were headed to the scene.
Terry Williams, a spokesman with the NTSB in Washington, said the on-scene investigation of the crash would take two to three days, but that the full investigation to determine the cause could take up to a year.
Authorities have not released the pilot’s identity and were still investigating Thursday afternoon.