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Vernon County squad tight crop

The pilot and lone occupant of a small plane died in a crash Monday night in a field near Viroqua Municipal Airport, the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office reported.

The Vernon County 911 Dispatch Center received a call reporting the crash shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday and emergency crews were able to quickly locate the downed aircraft in a field off of Miller Road, in the town of Jefferson, according to a news release.

The Viroqua Fire Department was able to put out a small fire on what was eventually identified as an Experimental Rotorcraft Sportcopter Vortex. The single rotor became detached from the body of the aircraft upon impact, and the body of the aircraft continued another 40 feet before coming to rest in a corn field, police said.

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Witnesses told police that they could see the aircraft leaving the Viroqua Municipal Airport, heard the engine stop, and saw the aircraft descend.

The pilot’s name is not being released, pending notification of the family.

The crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, Vernon County Sheriff's Office, and the Vernon County Coroner's Office.

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