A crop-dusting plane flew into a high-voltage power line north of Scottsbluff on Tuesday morning, causing power outages and extensive damage.
The pilot, Mike Uhlken, 60, was taken to a local hospital to be checked out. His condition was not available Tuesday evening.
Nebraska Public Power District was still assessing damage, said spokesman Mark Becker. The high-voltage line was severed and about 5 miles of it and 21 poles dropped to the ground.
“There was a lot of damage, and our crews are working to get the lines back up,” Becker said.
About 2,400 electrical customers in the Scottsbluff area lost power, including Western Nebraska Community College. The utility was able to reroute power and restore electricity to most of those customers within about two hours, Becker said. About 30 customers in the vicinity of the crash remained without power Tuesday evening, he said. The collision was reported about 8:40 a.m. Tuesday.
The snapped wires from the 230-kilovolt power line wrapped around a nearby semitrailer truck and pickup truck, but no one on the ground was hurt, Becker said.
A landowner in the area was photographing the plane when it crashed. Tim Jerger said he called 911 and took a three-wheeler over to the cornfield to hunt for the pilot. He found Uhlken talking and sitting on the cockpit of the plane. Jerger brought him back to the house and doused him with water to clean off the insecticide that had covered him.