ANOKA COUNTY, Minn. — The pilot of a small amphibious plane walked away with only minor injuries Thursday, April 30, after the aircraft crashed in an Anoka County lake and flipped upside down, authorities said.

Shortly before 2 p.m., deputies from the Anoka County sheriff’s office received reports that a small plane had crashed at the south end of Coon Lake in Ham Lake. Before they arrived, a bystander had rescued the pilot and brought him to shore. The pilot, Paul Erwin Youngquist, 72, of Coon Rapids, had minor injuries and was treated and released at the scene by medics. He was the only one on board.

He told authorities he had been flying from Cambridge to the Blaine airport when he decided to do a touch-and-go maneuver on the lake. While doing so, his landing gear was in the down position and caused the plane, a Cessna 180, to crash upside down.

“We are thankful that the pilot was able to walk away from this crash as there was potential for a more tragic outcome,” sheriff’s officials said, noting that both the Federal Aviation Administration and sheriff’s office will investigate the crash.

The plane was in the process of being recovered from the lake later Thursday afternoon.



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