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Small plane loses power, strikes car as it crashes onto highway

Piper PA-28.

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. — A single-engine aircraft lost power on Tuesday and struck a vehicle as it crashed on a suburban Minneapolis highway, authorities said.

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The Piper PA-28 went down about 10:30 a.m. CST near the intersection of County Road 81 and W. Broadway while approaching the Crystal Airport, Brooklyn Park police spokesperson Elliot Faust told the Star Tribune.

The aircraft departed the airport at 7:13 a.m. CST and was returning at the time of the crash, the newspaper reported, citing the flight tracking website FlightAware.com.

According to a news release from the police department, the 23-year-old pilot was the sole occupant of the aircraft.

Police said the man experienced a mechanical problem that led to a loss of power. The pilot attempted an emergency landing on County Road 81 and hit overhead power wires. The aircraft hit the highway and collided with a vehicle heading southbound on the highway, police said.

The pilot was treated for minor injuries at the scene, KARE-TV reported. The driver of a vehicle, a 32-year-old man, was taken to an area hospital with minor injuries, according to the television station.

“The fact that (the pilot) impacted one vehicle and was able to put the aircraft down ... is probably a testament to his skills as a pilot,” Brooklyn Park Fire Chief Shawn Conway told WCCO-TV.

The television station confirmed that the plane is owned by Thunderbird Aviation.

A spokesperson for Thunderbird Aviation confirmed it was one of the flight school’s planes, but offered no other information, according to the Star Tribune.

Police did not identify the pilot or the motorist. The area where the crash occurred is a mix of residential and commercial properties, Conway told reporters.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are conducting an investigation, police said.

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