LONGVILLE -- Three people were injured in an airplane crash Friday just east of Longville.
The airplane, a single-engine, fixed-wing Piper Cherokee, with three people on board went down about 11:52 a.m. in a wooded area on Cass County Road 7, about two miles east of Longville.
The pilot, David Stilley, 47, Waukee, Iowa, was taken to Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby where he was listed in good condition Saturday. A passenger, Joel Larsung, 30, was airlifted to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale. Larsung was listed in serious condition Saturday. A second passenger, Steven Sandeen, 32, Boone, Iowa, received medical attention but was not hospitalized.
"God was with us, that's all I can say," said one of the passengers at the crash site.
It was unknown what led to the crash, Cass County Sheriff Randy Fisher said Friday. The airplane had taken off from the Longville airport and apparently was attempting to return there when it crashed.
"A witness said they heard it backfire as it flew over," said Fisher.
The crash happened in a heavily wooded marsh area just off of Cass County Road 7. The airplane came to rest upside down against several pine trees. The airplane's wings and tail had been torn from the fuselage.
The two passengers helped the pilot walk to a nearby house belonging to Cass County Sheriff's Sgt. Scott Thompson.
"Luckily, they could walk him out," said the pilot's father-in-law, James Jensen.
Fisher said the Federal Aviation Administration was called to investigate the airplane crash.
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