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Pilot taken to hospital after plane lands at Wittman Regional Airport ahead of EAA AirVenture

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OSHKOSH — A plane crashed at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh Sunday, July 24th ahead of the start of EAA AirVenture, which begins Monday.

One person, the pilot of the plane, was taken to the hospital.

The crash happened just after 6:00 p.m.

EAA -- Wittman Regional Airport

EAA — Wittman Regional Airport

The EAA senior communications advisor said the pilot was conscious and alert after crashing the plane on the south end of the north-south runway.

The airport was closed after the crash — and will reopen when the FAA and The National Transportation Safety Board complete the investigation.

Meanwhile, with the week-long EAA AirVenture set to kick off on Monday, July 25th, one of the biggest attractions this year will be about six miles southeast of the airport at the seaplane base.

 

“It’s definitely something people will want to see,” Dick Knapinski, EAA spokesman said.

Hawaii Mars -- Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars — Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Wayne Coulson, CEO of the Coulson Group, flew one of his Martin Mars four-propeller planes in from British Columbia.

The Navy produced just six of them during the World War II era as a troop and cargo hauler.

Later, the planes were used as water bombers to fight forest fires.

Wayne Coulson

Wayne Coulson

Now, only two remain in the entire world — and Coulson has both.

“We thought we would bring them to Oshkosh — being the world premiere event for aviation fans to come here and share the airplane and showcase it so everybody can see what it spent its life doing,” Coulson said.

And it flew in to Oshkosh Saturday night, July 23rd.

“It drew a lot of attention out on the lake right away. You can’t miss it when it’s parked out there,” Coulson said.

Hawaii Mars -- Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars — Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars -- Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars — Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

It’s the size of the plane that draws the most attention — the largest seaplane ever built, with a wingspan of 200 feet — larger than a 747.

“That’s why it survived so many years in the world of firefighting, because we could go so slow,” Coulson said.

It’s the only aircraft in the world that allows you to walk in the tail and wings.

Hawaii Mars -- Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars — Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

EAA officials say it will put on four shows during the week, flying over the EAA grounds.

“We’re going to load it up with 7,200 gallons that we’re going to go drop on some pyrotechnics in the middle of the field and we’re going to show everybody what we do with this airplane,” Coulson said.

Hawaii Mars -- Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture

Hawaii Mars — Martin Mars four-propeller plane at EAA AirVenture