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Pilot lands experimental plane in Willmar after engine quits

WILLMAR -- The Kandiyohi County Sheriff's Office said 69-year-old John Lambing of Willmar was unhurt and his experimental airplane received minor damage after the plane had engine trouble and he made an emergency landing Wednesday evening in a corn field about one mile from the Willmar Municipal Airport.

The sheriff's department said the county communication center received a call Wednesday evening from the Minneapolis Terminal Radar Approach Control facility stating a plane was down in a field southwest of Willmar. Law enforcement responded to the scene and found Lambing outside his plane uninjured.

Lambing said he had left the airport at approximately 6:20 p.m. Shortly after takeoff, he experienced engine trouble. He was en route back to airport when he made the emergency landing in the corn field approximately one mile from the airport. The plane received minor damage, said Sheriff Dan Hartog.

Lambing told investigating officers that the plane had 10 hours of flight time before the incident.

The sheriff's office turned over the investigation to the Federal Aviation Administration. The Willmar Police Department, Minnesota State Patrol and the Willmar Ambulance Service assisted the sheriff's office.