Weather Forecast


Plane damaged after aborted takeoff on Long Lake

A small airplane was temporarily left adrift on Long lake Wednesday afternoon after an aborted takeoff attempt damaged one of the floats.

The pilot, James Beecroft, 68, of Jacksonville, Fla.. told a deputy that he had attempted to take off at about noon from Long Lake, but he did not think he was going to clear trees and houses so he brought the plane back onto the lake from about 25 feet up. He hit the water too hard, and one of the float supports broke.

A passenger, Theodore Beecroft, 62, of Fridley, hurt his shoulder in the accident, but said he did not need immediate medical attention.

A man helped them get out of the plane, and towed the plane closer to shore, until it ended up about 100 feet from the east shore of the lake, listing to one side, with the rear half of the plane submerged.

The man gave the two men a ride back to McCranny Lake, to retrieve a vehicle so they could come back and get the plane out of the water. The pilot said he didn't notify authorities because he was more worried about retrieving the damaged airplane.

The yellow Piper Cub is owned by Super Cub Flyers Inc. of Blaine.

The pilot, who tested negative for alcohol, said he has had a pilot's license for about five years and nothing like this has happened before.

He said he had rented the airplane Tuesday and flown to McCranny Lake and on Wednesday flew to Long Lake to get fuel for the plane, and was attempting to head back to McCranny Lake when the accident happened.

The two men made arrangements with the DL Airport to get the plane out of the water, and were to have met with the Federal Aviation Administration Thursday to explain what happened and have the plane inspected. No county charges are expected