HACKENSACK — The body of a helicopter pilot whose aircraft crashed into Ten Mile Lake Thursday was recovered at about 10:30 a.m. Friday.
Cass County Sheriff’s Chief Deputy Erick Hoglund said the body was found by members of the Lakes Area Dive Team outside of the submerged helicopter about 150 feet from the east shore, in 30 feet of water. A female passenger in the helicopter swam to shore and called 911, setting off a search that began just after 7 p.m. Thursday night. The passenger was taken to a hospital, Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said Thursday night.
Hoglund said the surface temperature of the water Thursday night was 41 degrees.
“She did a very good job swimming,” said Hoglund. “That water is cold.”
Searchers began looking for the helicopter and its pilot soon after the 911 call came in around 7 p.m. Hoglund said they ended their search for the night at 11 p.m. and began again at 8 a.m. Friday.
“It’s a deep lake,” Hoglund said of Ten Mile Lake. “It’s over 100 feet in some spots.” According to the DNR, the maximum depth of the lake is 208 feet.
The names of the pilot and the passenger have not yet been released by authorities.
Hoglund said the Federal Aviation Administration would investigate the incident.
Cass County Sheriff Tom Burch said Friday afternoon that the helicopter, a four-seat Robinson R44, was being pulled from the waters and would be stored in a hangar until FAA investigators could get to it.
Hoglund said the body would be sent to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office so an autopsy could be conducted.
Ten Mile Lake is an 4,669-acre lake located in Hiram Township in Cass County, about three miles north of Hackensack.
Cass County Sheriff's Office deputies, State Patrol, Walker police officers, Minnesota DNR conservation officers, Leech Lake tribal officers, Leech Lake conservation officers, Hackensack Fire and Rescue, Hackensack First Responders and North Ambulance responded to the scene.
JODIE TWEED may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 855-5858.