CLOVERDALE -- When is a plane crash not a plane crash?
When there is no crash site to be found.
That was what happened in southwestern Putnam County Wednesday evening after a small plane was thought to have crashed north of Interstate 70, a couple of miles west of Cloverdale.
At 6 p.m. Wednesday, local authorities received a 911 call through Vigo County, reporting that a small, low-flying aircraft had "gone down" north of the interstate near the 38-mile marker.
Indiana State Police troopers, the Cloverdale Fire Department and other authorities responded, trying to access the area of the reported crash site from county roads, State Road 243 and the interstate. Nothing, however, was located.
First-responders noted the lack of any smoke rising in the area of the reported incident, casting the first doubts on the validity of the report.
Nothing unusual was found during a search of 40 minutes or more.
Authorities were later able to determine that the low-flying plane apparently landed without incident at a private air strip near I-70. Its flight pattern and the terrain in the area likely combined to make the well-intentioned caller believe a crash was about to occur.