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Plane crash near Paynesville
On March 4, at approximately 2:44 p.m., the Paynesville Police Department was notified of a plane crash near the Paynesville Airport. The Stearns County Sheriff’s Office and the Paynesville police responded and found a male party standing outside his crashed experimental airplane. The pilot, identified as Michael Jude, age 71, of St. Cloud, received significant injuries. Paynesville Fire and Rescue and Paynesville Ambulance responded to the scene, treated Jude and transported him to the Paynesville Hospital. Jude was eventually transported to the St Cloud Hospital for further treatment.
Jude reported that he left from the Clear Lake Airport and was headed to the Paynesville Airport. During the flight, the engine began to overheat. Jude attempted to land but aborted the landing and was coming back around to land when he experienced engine failure and attempted to land in a corn stubble field approximately ½ mile southwest of the end of the runway. The plane landed hard, damaging the wings and collapsing the landing gear.
The plane is classified as a fixed wing, single engine amateur-built experimental plane built in 2009. The FAA was notified and continues to investigate the crash.