The wreckage of a Cessna Centurion airplane rests in a wooded area just east of the Burlington Municipal Airport following a crash May 15. The plane’s pilot, David Schmutzler, 80, of Port Washington died Saturday from injuries suffered in the crash. (Photo by Roger Bieneman)

Crash was one of two in Burlington last year

The late pilot of a single-engine plane that crashed in a wooded area just east of the Burlington Municipal Airport May 15 was an Air Force veteran, flight instructor and experienced pilot who began flying at age 11.

David Schmutzler, 80, of Port Washington, died a day later at Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa as a result of injuries suffered in the crash, which occurred about 6:15 p.m. May 15.

Schmutzler had flown from West Bend to Burlington to work with a mechanic who had recently installed a piece of equipment on the plane, his wife Barbara Bode said.

He was in Burlington most of the afternoon, she said, and was on his way back to West Bend when he experienced problems with the plane. He turned around and was headed back to the Burlington airport when the crash occurred.

In a separate incident, another single-engine plane crashed Aug. 9 shortly after taking off from the Burlington Municipal Airport that resulted in life-threatening injuries to the pilot and passenger.

The two people, from Racine, were conscious when Racine County Sheriff’s deputies and rescue crews arrived after receiving a report of a plane crash at 2:40 p.m. Sunday, the Sheriff’s Office said.

Both occupants had to be extricated from the four-seat Piper PA-22 and were transported in two separate Flight for Life helicopters to Froedtert Hospital in Wauwatosa, according to first responders.

Witnesses told authorities the plane experienced difficulty gaining altitude before the aircraft fell to the ground.
 After narrowly missing a tree line, the plane crashed into a residential neighborhood on Voree Court, about a half-mile south of the airport, and just missed a house.