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South Bend teen hurt in ultralight crash says wing broke

August 16, 2013|By Don Wagner ( | WSBT-TV

COVERT TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A South Bend teen and Cassopolis man are recovering from an ultralight plane crash in southwest Michigan on Friday.

15-year-old Dillen Smith, a freshman at Clay High School, went flying with Timothy Feathers in the ultralight from Cassopolis to a beach along Lake Michigan. They were planning on a going for a swim.

Dillen and his mom, Yvonne Smith, called WSBT Friday night to tell us a wing broke off the ultralight while the small aircraft was 100 to 150 feet off the ground. They were approaching Covert Township Park Beach in Van Buren County when it happened.

Dillen suffered a concussion, broken nose and several broken ribs but has been released from the hospital.

Feathers, on the other hand, could be laid up in the hospital for a couple of weeks with two broken vertebrae and two broken legs.

Feathers is being treated at Bronson Hospital in Kalamazoo, but officials there won't release his condition due to privacy laws.


Dillen says there was no sign the plane was having any problems, but all of a sudden, the wing broke. That’s all he can remember. He says he woke up on the beach after the crash-landing.

Feathers was able to call Dillen tonight to say he was sorry the crash happened.

When asked if he would fly again, Dillen quickly said he would.

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