Pilot suffers minor injuries after plane crashes into Novi neighborhood

No injuries on the ground, police report

By: Charity Meier | Novi Note | Published May 15, 2024

File photo


NOVI — A single-engine Titan T-51 Mustang airplane crashed into a Novi neighborhood May 12.

“The pilot of a single-engine Titan T-51 Mustang reported engine issues and landed in a residential neighborhood in Novi, Michigan, around 6:40 p.m. local time on Sunday, May 12. Only the pilot was on board,” the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The World War II replica aircraft crashed onto Cambridge Drive, just north of Eight Mile Road and west of Haggerty Road. According to a press release from the Novi Police Department, it appears the pilot was attempting an emergency landing and crashed into some trees.

“There was no fire associated with the crash and no one on the ground was injured.  No structures were damaged in the crash, only some trees,” said Cmdr. Jason Meier, of the Novi Police Department.

The plane was being piloted by a 71-year-old man from Northville. He suffered minor injuries, police said. According to the police report, the crash was witnessed by a local doctor who helped pull the conscious pilot out of the plane and who was assisting with medical care until emergency services arrived on the scene. The pilot was then transported to St. Mary Mercy Hospital in Livonia for treatment.

The accident is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board in conjunction with the FAA.

“Preliminary information indicates the airplane departed Canton-Plymouth Mettetal Airport on a local flight and experienced a loss of engine power shortly after takeoff,” said Jennifer Gabris, of the NTSB.

Novi police remained on the scene to assist the FAA and NTSB by securing the area. The Novi Fire Department cut down some large tree branches in order to remove the plane from the crash site. The plane was then towed back to Canton-Plymouth Mettetal Airport by Hadley’s Towing, who were given a police escort due to the oversize load.

According to Gabris, the investigation will take between one to two years to complete.

“NTSB investigators will look at the human, machine and environment as the outline of the investigation. At this early stage of an investigation, the NTSB does not determine or speculate about the cause of the accident,” said Gabris.