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Pilot injured when plane crashes in field near Paynesville Airport

PAYNESVILLE -- A pilot was seriously injured when his small, experimental plane crashed Saturday afternoon in a field near the Paynesville Airport. According to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, Michael Jude, 71, of St. Cloud was flying from t...

Submitted PhotoThe pilot of this expirimental plane was seriously injured when the plane crashed Saturday afternoon in a fieldnear the Paynesville Airport.
Submitted Photo / Stearns County Sheriff's Department The pilot of this experimental plane was seriously injured when the plane crashed Saturday afternoon in a fieldnear the Paynesville Airport.

PAYNESVILLE - A pilot was seriously injured when his small, experimental plane crashed Saturday afternoon in a field near the Paynesville Airport.

According to the Stearns County Sheriff's Office, Michael Jude, 71, of St. Cloud was flying from the Clear Lake Airport to the Paynesville Airport when the engine of his fixed-wing single engine plane began to overheat.

Jude attempted to land but then aborted the landing.

As he was coming back around to land, Jude experienced engine failure and attempted to land in a corn stubble field about one-half mile southwest of the end of the runway.

The plane landed hard, damaging the wings and collapsing the landing gear, according to the sheriff's report.

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When the Paynesville Police and Stearns County Sheriff's Office arrived at the scene at around 2:44 p.m., they found Jude standing outside his crashed airplane with "significant injuries."

He was initially taken to the Paynesville Hospital and later transported to the St Cloud Hospital for further treatment.

The Paynesville Fire and Rescue and Paynesville Ambulance also responded to the scene.

The plane is classified as a fixed-wing single engine amateur built experimental plane that was built in 2009.

The FAA was notified and is investigating the crash.

Carolyn Lange is a features writer at the West Central Tribune. She can be reached at clange@wctrib.com or 320-894-9750
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