A 72-year-old Coon Rapids man is alive after a small plane he was piloting crashed in the city of Ham Lake Thursday afternoon.
The pilot, Paul Erwin Youngquist, was headed from Cambridge to the Blaine Airport when he decided to try a “touch-and-go maneuver” on the water of Coon Lake, according to the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office. The plane’s landing gear was in the down position when Youngquist skimmed the surface, causing the plane to crash upside down.
An onlooker who witnessed the crash rescued Youngquist and brought him to shore, the Sheriff’s Office said. Youngquist suffered only minor injuries and was treated at the scene. He was the only person onboard the Cessna 180 plane.
“We are thankful that the pilot was able to walk away from this crash as there was potential for a more tragic outcome,” the Anoka County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.
The Federal Aviation Administration was notified of the crash and will investigate. Authorities are planning a salvage recovery of the plane.