Mankato airport terminal aerial (copy)

Mankato Regional Airport

The Free Press

MANKATO — The pilot and sole occupant of a plane that crashed at the Mankato Regional Airport Tuesday night suffered non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities said the man is 78 years old and the crash happened as he was approaching the runway at 7:48 p.m. He was transported to the Mankato hospital.

The aircraft, a 1997 Van’s 6A, is based out of the Mankato airport and was not a North Star Aviation plane.North Star provides the planes for students training to be pilots through the Minnesota State University aviation program.

The Federal Aviation Administration online incident-notification site listed the plane, a homebuilt kit aircraft also known as an RV-6A, as “destroyed.” The registration number in the notification lists the plane as being owned by Michael D. Boyce II of Bumpass, Virginia, with Melanie V. Lucero as a co-owner. Based on his age, Boyce does not appear to be the pilot involved in Tuesday’s crash.

The plane remained in a field adjacent to the runway as federal officials, who were on site by Wednesday afternoon, began their investigation.

“The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will investigate,” the FAA said in a statement. “The NTSB will be in charge of the investigation and will provide additional updates.”

The plane came to a stop far enough off of the runway that the airport was allowed to resume operations even before investigators arrived.

MSU students who were in the air at the time of the crash and were initially diverted to airports in Waseca and New Ulm were able to fly back to Mankato later Tuesday night.

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