Pilot makes daring landing as engine fails on way home from Duluth Airshow


A classic plane pilot had to make a daring crash landing in a field as he made his way home from the Duluth Airshow.

The 61-year-old pilot from Shorewood, Minnesota, was flying his U.S. Navy 630 biplane from Duluth to Anoka when he encountered engine failure at around 6:50 p.m. on Saturday.

Realizing he needed to make an emergency landing, the pilot pulled off an impressive feat of flying to land it in a bean field near Stanchfield Township.

The Isanti County Sheriff's Office described the landing on its Facebook page.

"He attempted to land in a soybean field, but had too much speed to stop safely in the bean field. The pilot was able to fly underneath the power lines on Lever Street, flying over Lever St. and then came down hard in an unplanted field on the west side of Lever St. It was at this time the landing gear crushed and the plane came to a rest on the belly of the plane in the field."

The pilot and his co-pilot, who is from St. Francis, Minnesota, managed to escape the incident without any injuries and then secured the plane. The Federal Aviation Authority will now investigate.

Airshow a success

The 2016 Duluth Airshow was branded "another successful show" by organizers, as more than 45,000 people attended over the two-day event – 35,000 of them on Saturday, an email news release says.

Held at the Duluth International Airshow, planes that took part included a Marine Harrier, the Navy F-18, and the Air Force Thunderbirds.

"We’re thrilled with the outcome of the 2016 show," said Duluth Airshow President, Ryan Kern, in the news release. "Saturday was an ideal day for an airshow, and though the weather on Sunday was initially more challenging, it was actually a great airshow day as well."

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