'Miraculous': Pilot suffers only minor injuries after gyrocopter crash lands


A 73-year-old Minnesota man suffered only minor injuries after his experimental gyrocopter crash-landed west of the Twin Cities – an outcome one official called "miraculous."

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West Hennepin Public Safety says it received a report of a helicopter crash landing at the Maple Plain Landing Strip in Independence, Minnesota around 5:45 p.m. on June 6.

At the scene, officers found a 1970 experimental aircraft gyrocopter, bent and battered in a bean field just shy of the airport runway, that had been piloted by Al Kretsinger.

Krestsinger, from St. Louis Park, walked away from the crash with minor cuts, bumps and bruises, the Public Safety department says.

"It is miraculous that [he] was not killed from this incident and able to walk away with relatively minor injuries," West Hennepin Public Safety Director Gary Kroells said in a statement.

He was wearing his seatbelt and a pilot's helmet at the time of the crash, the report says.

West Hennepin Public Safety, in cooperation with the FAA, is investigating why the gyrocopter went down.

A preliminary investigation shows the pilot lost lift and was unable to maintain his altitude.

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