Author: Judy Steffes

Dec. 12, 2018 – Hartford, WI – Neighbors in Hartford say the fact nobody was injured following the emergency plane landing in a field tonight is a miracle.

James Buege is a pilot who lives in Hartford on Ernst Road near Clover Road. He said planes fly right over his house all the time as they head to Hartford Municipal Airport.

Buege became aware of the accident after his wife returned home from taking their son to a youth-group meeting at church.

“It’s so foggy you can’t see 100 feet,” said Buege.  “So the fact this guy is alive just blows my mind.”

Buege said his wife returned home and talked about how the ambulance was towing a UTV on a trailer.

“I assume he landed in the field possibly by Brehmers,” he said.  “The plane is somewhere between Kettle Moraine Drive and Badger Road.” is reporting a heavy police presence in the area of Kettle Moraine Road and Hilldale Road.

Buege said the road is blocked off from Badger Road to Hilldale Drive. “I heard the sirens and when she came back the roads were blocked off and the ambulance passed her,” he said.

“I’m assuming at first light you’ll be able to see the plane because no way are they getting that out of there.”

Buege said if the plane landed in the field, which belongs to Brehmer’s Farm.  “They have areas that are plowed really, really good and if he came down just right he could have landed without property damage but otherwise he could have gone nose over,” he said.

Hartford City Administrator Steve Volkert said the pilot was not injured in the accident which happened just after 6 p.m. Wednesday evening.

Below is the release from Washington County Sheriff’s Lieutenant Ryan Herman

On December 12 at 6:02PM, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office responded to the area of the Hartford Municipal Airport for reports of a crashed airplane. As deputies and Hartford Fire and Rescue personnel responded, further information of an emergency landing in a farm field near the airport was obtained from the pilot’s family. Family advised the pilot was not injured and was the sole occupant. The Washington County Communications Center determined the emergency landing occurred in a farm field near the 5800 block of Hilldale Rd, in the Town of Hartford.

Emergency personnel responded and located the pilot walking near the roadway. He confirmed he was the sole occupant and that he suffered minor injury as a result of his emergency landing. While flying from Kalamazoo Michigan, he prepared to land at Hartford Municipal Airport with his 1979 Beech A36 plane. When lowering the landing gear, his plane engine lost power, prompting his need of an emergency landing. He believed the engine failure was a result of ice build-up on his landing gear mechanics. After landing without landing gear, he contacted family and proceeded to walk towards the road where he was met by emergency personnel.

His 1979 Beech A36 plane is 27 feet long with a wingspan of 36 feet. There is substantial damage to the plane as a result of the emergency landing.

The Milwaukee Federal Aviation Agency was consulted and will be conducting their own investigation into the landing at a later time.

The pilot was from the Town of West Bend.

Neighbors in Hartford say heavy fog may have been a factor in plane crash