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Update: Highland Park Pilot Dies in Plane Crash

76-year-old's plane goes down near Racine, Wis. airport.

Update 4:20 p.m.: Mount Pleasant Police in a written statement said that Highland Park resident Phillip Pines acted heroically by steering his failing aircraft into a farmers field for a crash landing that ultimately cost Pines, 76, his life.

The press release was handed out to media during a noon press conference in the parking lot of Roma Lodge on Sept. 6.

"Mr. Pines acted in a heroic manner by attempting to land the plane in an area that was open and avoided several populated subdivisions not far from where the crash occurred," the release said.

John Brannen of the National Transportation Safety Board spoke during the press conference about the crash. He said that Pines first hit the ground just north of the shoulder along Spring Street before skidding to where the aircraft ultimately came to rest, about 75 yards into the field.

Pines was flying back to the Waukegan, IL, airport from Wausau and started having trouble maintaining altitude about 35 minutes into a 45-minute flight. He tried to turn back to Batten Airport when the plane crashed in the field next to Roma Lodge on Spring Street in Mount Pleasant. The plane is a TMB 700 Socada, 2010 model year.

Brannen also said it's too early to tell what caused Pines to crash.

"It's too early to speculate on any type of cause," he said. Brannen said he has requested radar data, flight logs and any recordings associated with the flight to help determine why Pines had trouble maintaining altitude. The investigation could take six months to a year.

Update 3:30 p.m.: has more information on the plane crash that took the life of Highland Park pilot Phillip Pines.

At approximately 6:45 p.m. Sept. 5, a single engine plane crashed into a field south of the Racine, Wis. airport.

Ryan Nielsen, who lives near the crash site, said he heard the plane come in low over his house.

"I went outside and saw it flying low, but it was loud so I think the engine was still working," he said. "Then it banked and I heard a 'thud' when it came down."

When rescue teams reached the plane, they could see the pilot, later identified as Pines, had suffered severe injuries, but could not tell if he was alive. By the time they got the plane's door open, Pines was dead.

Harry Manning, a Mount Pleasant trustee and Patch reader, sent an email with a link to flight information based on the plane's tail number.

The website says Pines was flying from Wausau to Waukegan, a flight expected to take about 45 minutes. Reports on the site indicate the plane was in the air for 34 minutes before it crashed in Mount Pleasant and may have been cruising at an altitude of 19,000 feet going about 350 miles per hour. It was registered in 2010 as a SOCATA TBM 700 to Green Plane LLC Wisconsin Dells.

Earlier: A 76-year-old Highland Park pilot died Monday when the small plane he was flying crashed south of the Racine, Wis. airport, the Chicago Tribune reports.

The pilot was identified as Phillip Pines. His plane went down Monday at around 6:30 p.m., according to the Tribune. It was about 2 1/2 miles from the airport.

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