Plane involved in Columbus crash was built from kit

Photo courtesy John George via Facebook
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The airplane involved in a Columbus crash that injured two men was built from a kit, but experts say it has a good safety record.

Spokesman Dick Knapinski of the Experimental Aircraft Association based in Oshkosh, Wis., says the Glastar GS-1 has been around "for a number of years" and that the association uses Glastar aircraft for its youth program.

The plane involved in Thursday's crash is registered to Gerald Clayton of Columbus. Clayton was on board the aircraft when it crashed and has serious injuries including severe burns. Another man, Dennis King, was also in the plane and is in serious condition.

Columbus resident Larry Ruble says he knows the pilot and that he built the aircraft himself.

See a slide show of images from the scene.

Clayton is a volunteer at the Atterbury-Bakalar Air Museum, according to the museum website.

According to the museum, Clayton is an Air Force veteran, having joined in 1951. He achieved the rank of Airman First Class before being discharged in December 1954, and he earned his private pilot certificate in 1965.

The museum website says it took Clayton nine years to build a Glastar kit airplane which is hangared at the Columbus, Indiana Municipal Airport. Eyewitness News has not confirmed if Clayton was flying that same plane when it crashed Thursday morning.