Pilot dies as single-engine plane crashes in Michigan field

BETHEL TOWNSHIP, Mich. - Authorities say a 25-year-old man died as the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed in a southern Michigan field.

Michigan State Police say Phillip Ching had been crop dusting late Saturday afternoon in Branch County's Bethel Township. Investigators say he was the plane's only occupant and appears to have died on impact.

Police say Ching was originally from Elsie, Michigan, but had been living in Middlebury, Indiana, during the summer. He had been working for Lutes Flying Service Inc., the plane's owner.

An autopsy is planned and the crash remains under investigation by the state police and Federal Aviation Administration.

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