Skip to main content

Plane crashes in church parking lot, killing pilot

There was a fire on board the aircraft before the crash.

A pilot was killed when a "very small" plane crashed in the parking lot of a church in Eden Prairie Wednesday morning.

Police said at a news conference Wednesday a fire was reported on board shortly after the plane took off from the nearby Flying Cloud Airport.

The plane crashed minutes later into the parking lot of the Resurrection Life Church. Police were notified about the crash at 11:10 a.m., a news release says

The pilot was killed. No one else was on board the plane when it crashed. 

He's been identified as 77-year-old Philip Schaffer of Richfield, with the medical examiner saying he died of "multiple blunt force injuries." 

Smoke from the crash could be seen on traffic cameras, and video KARE 11 shared (watch it below) shows charred debris in the parking lot and a large chunk of the plane wrapped around a light post. 

The Eden Prairie Police Department has asked people to avoid the area. The church is located on Glory Lane, just north of Highway 212 and about 3 miles northwest (by car) of the Flying Cloud Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. 

Next Up

Gopher Basketball / R.J. Stephens

Late-tip in helps Gophers pass first big test, improve to 6-0

Luke Loewe's bucket with 2.4 seconds remaining helped the Gophers stay undefeated.


Man, 40, found dead stuck in air duct at his Otter Tail Co. home

The discovery was made by family members Monday morning.

Biden Minnesota visit stream screengrab - 11.30.31

What Biden said during his visit to Minnesota Tuesday

The president spoke at Dakota County Technical College.

Grand Marais

Cook County registers its first COVID-19 death of the pandemic

The sparsely populated, highly-vaccinated county has continuously had one of the lowest rates of COVID in the state.

Waits family screengrab CNN

Support for MN family after anti-maskers target child of school board chair

An online group opposing Kelsey Waits outed the child as transgender.

Pixabay - school - classroom

St. Paul schools add 2 days to winter break due to pandemic stress

The added days off are meant to acknowledge the stress the pandemic has caused.

Fardoussa Abdillahi

Charges: St. Cloud mother killed baby, placed him in dumpster

The 4-month-old baby was found by officers on Sunday morning.


1 dead in crash at Lake Street intersection in south Minneapolis

There have been 465 deaths on Minnesota roads this year, according to the state's traffic division.


St. Paul restaurateur's businesses burglarized a 6th time

The owner of The Gnome and Hope Breakfast Bar is asking politicians to help St. Paul business owners.

North Memorial Air Care

Teen suffers life-threatening injuries in head-on crash in southern MN

The 18-year-old was airlifted to a Mayo Clinic hospital in Rochester.

foo fighters grohl mr rossi wikimedia

Foo Fighters abruptly cancel Gophers stadium show hours after announcing it

The band is looking for a new venue because of a disagreement over COVID protocols.


plane, Piper PA-32

Pilot killed in small plane crash in southwestern Minnesota

The crash happened just after 7 a.m. Sunday.

cessna 180

Pilot walks away after crashing upside down into northern metro lake

The pilot of a small aircraft crashed just before 2 p.m. Thursday.