BIR President Bill Singleterry's first visit to Brainerd International Raceway was almost his last.
He left the Brainerd-Crow Wing County Regional Airport the night of Aug. 14, 2000 in a twin-engine plane. And 20 to 30 minutes later it crashed near Iron Mountain, Mich., when the plane's engines were blown out in a storm.
Singleterry said that he heard a huge explosion one minute and then could hear a pin drop the next.
The crash killed the pilot and co-pilot. Singleterry and George Peck, an attorney for the Colonel's International, survived.
After the wreck Singleterry and Peck spent a cold rainy night in the dense woods of Michigan's Upper Peninsula near Lake Superior.
They were rescued after a helicopter hovered over them until rescuers on foot could reach them. The helicopter could not land because of the trees.
Singleterry's injuries included a punctured lung. He did not return to work until Sept. 29, 2000.
"I still fly but when I see clouds I have a different reaction than most people," he said.
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