An Illinois couple survived a plane crash Monday morning, July 30, while attempting to land on runway 34 at the Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport, the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office reported in a news release.
The sheriff's office received a call at 10:05 a.m. Monday from a passenger involved in the plane crash, saying that she and her husband had just survived the crash. The two passengers were later identified as Vincent and Jody Facchiano, both 60, from Belvidere, Illinois.
Through directions Jody Facchiano gave and cell phone pings conducted by Crow Wing County dispatchers, the location of the crash was determined to be in a heavily wooded and lowland area about 1.4 miles southeast of runway 34, in Oak Lawn Township.
The Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office, with assistance from the Minnesota State Patrol helicopter, was able to locate the Facchianos as they attempted to walk out from the crash site.
The Facchianos were lifted from the area by a State Patrol helicopter and transferred to a North Memorial Ambulance where they were taken to Essentia Health-St. Joseph's Medical Center in Brainerd with minor injuries.
Pilot Vincent Facchiano told investigators that he and his wife were flying to Brainerd from Illinois. Facchiano said he experienced engine failure upon approach and was unable to reach the runway, crashing his plane, a Beechcraft Bonanza single-engine prop, into the heavily wooded area.
Deputies were unable to reach the crash site because of the terrain.
The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were both notified, and the crash remains under investigation.
Assisting the Crow Wing County Sheriff's Office were the Brainerd Fire Department, North Memorial Ambulance and Air Care, Crosby Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and Brainerd Lakes Regional Airport personnel.