BY MICHAEL STAVOLA

A 41-year-old Wichita man flying from Boulder, Colorado, to Augusta landed in the Big Ditch on Wednesday after engine failure caused an emergency landing, according to Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office Lt. Ken Kooser.

The pilot was not injured.

He was headed south when the engine failure caused him to be rerouted to the Wichita Dwight D. Eisenhower National Airport, but a strong headwind forced him to make a U-turn and land in “pretty thick grass,” Kooser said.

”The pilot was unable to make it to Eisenhower Airport but did a remarkable job of actually landing it here, on its wheels with very little if any damage to the aircraft in the Big Ditch just south of K-96 here just east of West Street,” he said.

The engine failure was reported around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday. First responders were initially told different areas where the plane went down, but were eventually able to find the single-engine PiperSport, he said.

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