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St. Peter, MN (KROC-AM News) - Authorities in south-central Minnesota are investigating a fatal crash involving an experimental aircraft.

LeSueur County Sheriff Brett Mason says LeSueur County deputies, Nicollet County deputies, and St. Peter police officers were dispatched to an area of the Minnesota River around 4 PM Sunday afternoon due to a report of a rotary-winged aircraft that had crashed into the river near the southern edge of St. Peter. He says the deputies launched a boat and located the Gyrocopter submerged in the river.


The deputies managed to free the pilot from the crashed aircraft and began performing lifesaving measures while he was being transported in a boat back to a nearby river access point. The pilot, identified as 66-year-old Loren David Jones of Prior Lake, was airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester where he was later pronounced dead.

Sheriff Mason says a preliminary investigation found the single-seat aircraft struck a powerline over the river just before the crash occurred. The National Transportation Safety Board is serving as the lead agency for the investigation into the incident.

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Gallery Credit: Carly Ross