Airplane crash near Viroqua

On July 25, 2019, the Vernon County 911 Dispatch Center was notified of an airplane crash on private property near US Highway 14 and County Road Y, north of Viroqua. Responding emergency units found the crash site in a soybean field visible from County Road Y East and Old Highway 14. The aircraft was in one piece and was laying on its top. 

According to Pilot In Command, Alton W. Akers, age 70, of Worley, Idaho, and his son, Co-Pilot, Cabe T. Akers, age 41, of Chicago, Illinois, they were en route from Idaho to the EAA Oshkosh Air Show. The Akers were piloting a1940, fixed-wing, single-engine, two-seat, Culver Cadet airplane. The Akers told officials the aircraft began to experience engine problems, and they were trying to make it to the Viroqua Municipal Airport for an emergency landing. Both pilots reported the emergency locator device was activated when they knew they were not going to make it to the airport. The pilots reported the engine quit on descend. At that point, the landing gear was deployed, and an emergency landing was attempted in a nearby soybean field. Shortly after touching down, the aircraft’s wheels sunk into the dirt, causing the aircraft to flip over onto its top. Both pilot and co-pilot were able to free themselves from the wreckage. 

The Akers were transported by Gundersen Tri-State Ambulance to Vernon Memorial Hospital to be stabilized, and were later transferred to Gundersen Health System. Both pilots remain hospitalized in stable condition with serious injuries. 

Under FAA guidance, the aircraft was righted by officials from the Viroqua Municipal Airport, Vernon County Sheriff’s Office, and Viroqua Fire Department. George’s Auto Repair was called to haul the aircraft from the crash site. US Highway 14 and County Road Y East were shut down, and restricted for approximately 20 minutes to move the oversized load. 

The crash remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and the Vernon County Sheriff’s Office. 

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