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MinnesotaBoatman

Floatplane capsizes; passengers escape

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Floatplane capsizes; passengers escape

Star Tribune

Last update: July 05, 2007 – 8:28 AM

A floatplane trying to land on Pelican Lake near Orr, Minn., Wednesday afternoon flipped onto its nose, but the pilot and passenger were able to escape, according to the St. Louis County Sheriff's Department.

Pilot Ronald Brunner had taken off from the Orr Airport for a sightseeing trip and was trying to land on the lake when the plane flipped.

Attempts were made to right the plane using a boat, but the passenger and engine compartments had filled with water and the plane rolled over. Now, it's floating upside down in shallow water in the lake.

It will be removed from the water later this week, the sheriff's department says. It is warning boaters to stay clear of the site, which is marked by the two white airplane floats.

The FAA was to investigate the crash today.

But the Sheriff's Department may already have hit on the cause: Brunner's floats have retractable wheels, so he can take off and land on dry land.

The wheels hadn't been retracted when he tried to land on water.

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