An extensive search by first responders for a crashed ultralight aircraft was “unable to locate anything” on Saturday, according to information provided to the Urbana Daily Citizen from the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office.
A civilian witness report to 911 dispatch originated from a neighbor in the area of Kennard Kingscreek and Ludlow roads on Saturday. Grid searches were conducted by foot and aircraft in the area, but located no wreckage and no evidence of a crash.
Early regional media reports of an ultralight aircraft crash with a missing pilot circulated as far as The Associated Press by Saturday night. As of Sunday morning, the erroneous reports remained circulating and uncorrected by regional media and the AP.
On Sunday afternoon, The Associated Press reported the following update:
“Champaign County Sheriff Matthew Melvin said Sunday that it appears there never was a crash. He says search crews looked over the area Saturday on the ground and by air. He says no wreckage was found and that there are no missing person reports from any of the airports nearby. The sheriff says a witness who lives nearby had called authorities to report that he thought he saw an ultralight go down north of Urbana. Melvin says the only thing they found in the fields were a few birthday balloons.”