JEFFERSON — The 63-year-old Janesville pilot whose ultralight aircraft crashed just south of Fort Atkinson Municipal Airport on Sunday has died.
The pilot, Ronald Norton was alone in the plane, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office. He kept his ultralight in a rented space in one of the hangars at the airport.
Jefferson County Medical Examiner Nichol Tesch said Norton died at 5:53 a.m. Monday at UW Hospital in Madison.
“I do not have an official cause of death to release as I have not reviewed the records as of yet,” she said. “We are investigating his death as being related to the injuries he sustained in the crash, but will not have a full report for several weeks.”
The sheriff’s office received a call at 9:42 a.m. Sunday that an aircraft had crashed south of the airport on County Highway K.
Sheriff’s office Capt. Jerry Haferman said Norton reportedly departed from the Fort Atkinson airport and began having engine problems.
According to witness statements and Norton himself, he attempted to glide the aircraft to a smooth field, but was unable to do so and crashed to the ground, causing the ultralight to ignite.
In addition to Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office deputies, Fort Atkinson Fire Department Rescue Squad, Ryan Brothers Ambulance Service and the Fort Memorial Hospital paramedic unit responded to the scene.
Norton was able to extricate himself from the aircraft and initially was brought to Fort Memorial Hospital.
Based on the assessment of his injuries, which included extensive burns, the Med-Flight helicopter was contacted to respond directly to Fort Memorial Hospital and transfer Norton to UW Hospital in Madison, where he died early Monday morning, according to Tesch.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Bureau were notified of the crash. However, due to the nature of the aircraft, the federal agencies turned over the investigation to the sheriff’s office.