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Fri, Dec 22, 2023

Minnesota Skyhawk Tests Thin Ice on Upper Red Lake

A Warm December and Diminished Snowfall Takes a Cessna for a Swim

A Cessna 172 attempting a landing on Upper Red Lake broke through the ice, apparently taking the pilots by surprise on their intended ice fishing adventure.

The crash landing happened around 0930, when the Grand Rapids aircraft touched down on the lake’s 1 to 2 inches of ice. That wasn’t enough to support it, unsurprisingly, though the pilot had assumed the landing zone could support the Skyhawk’s weight after a flyover.

Perhaps it may have, had the aircraft come to a stop exactly where intended, but the lack of powdery snow reduced the amount of deceleration available. It landed longer than intended, straying on to the thinner ice and dropping the Cessna into shallow, frozen waters. Luckily for the occupants, Beltrami County Boat and Water Deputies were near the scene to help with a speedy rescue, pulling the fishermen out of the aircraft.

This year’s unseasonably warm December seems to be getting the better of visitors to the lake, keeping the Deputies busy as they save people from the ice. Locals note that the rescue comes only days after 35 people had to be rescued when an ice floe broke loose from the shores of Upper Red Lake.


FMI: www.co.beltrami.mn.us

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