HAZELTON TOWNSHIP-- A 64-year-old Deerwood man was injured Saturday after his plane crashed into a swamp in Aitkin County.
Gerald Sethney was piloting an experimental, homemade plane Saturday night when he went down in a bog at Hazelton Township in Aitkin County, about 50 to 100 yards northeast of Birch Lake. Birch Lake is in both Aitkin County and Crow Wing County, near County Road 10.
The downed plane was first spotted by the Minneapolis Flight Center, which had received duress signals from the plane. The center at first notified the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Department at 6:16 Saturday.
Tony Molinaro, spokesperson with the Federal Aviation Administration Great Lakes Region in Chicago, said Sethney's plane, a Kingfisher home-built, departed from Birch Lake and crashed at about 5:20 p.m. shortly after take-off.
The downed plane was first spotted by Crow Wing County deputies. Both boat and seaplane were used to get to Sethney.
Aitkin County Sheriff Dennis Landborg said it was still unknown why Sethney's plane had crashed.
"We were unable to get a lot of information from the pilot at the time," Landborg said. "The FAA is investigating today."
Molinaro said the crash investigation will be completed in about six to eight weeks. Investigators looked at the plane Sunday, Molinaro said, but have yet to talk to Sethney.
The plane, which has the ability to take off and land from water, had substantial damage, Molinaro added.
Sethney was transported to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby, where he remains in stable condition.
On Sunday, a small plane at the Brainerd Crow Wing County Regional Airport had to land on its belly after experiencing mechanical problems.
No one was injured in the landing.
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