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Pilot lands experimental plane unhurt after engine quits

WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said a 69-year-old pilot was unhurt and his experimental airplane appeared to be undamaged after the engine quit and he was able to land Wednesday evening in a corn field southwest of Willmar and just north of state Highway 23.

Sgt. Steven Marquardt said the county communication center received a call at 6:51 p.m. Wednesday from the Minneapolis Terminal Radar Approach Control facility stating a plane was down in a field southwest of Willmar. Law enforcement responded to the scene and found the pilot outside his plane uninjured.

The pilot said the engine had quit during flight, and he tried to route the plane back to the Willmar Municipal Airport. He was able to land the plane in a corn field just north of Highway 23, apparently undamaged. Marquardt said the pilot told investigating officers that the plane had 10 hours of flight time before the incident.

The sheriff's office turned over the investigation to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Willmar Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the Willmar Ambulance Service assisted the sheriff's office.