One dead in Moose Lake plane crash


May 10, 2019

One man is dead after an airplane crashed into the Moose Horn River sometime Wednesday, May 8, likely after taking off from the Moose Lake Carlton County Airport.

According to a press release from the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office, at approximately 7 a.m. Thursday, May 9, the aircraft was located crashed and partially submerged in the Moose Horn River, a short distance northwest of the end of the Moose Lake Airport runway.

The body of a male was located. All indications appear the body is that of Thomas Jay Stillwell, age 65, of Plymouth, Minn. An autopsy will be performed for positive identification and to determine the cause of death. The plane was a Mooney model M20J single engine airplane.

Law enforcement and others had been searching for the plane since Wednesday night after the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the FAA about an overdue flight.

The flight plan was filed for a flight to depart from the Moose Lake Carlton County Airport at 4:30 p.m. with a destination of the Crystal Airport. The flight was scheduled to land in Crystal at 5:15 p.m. The plane was never picked up on radar at either the Duluth or Minneapolis Airport Towers.

Although the spring snowstorm Wednesday ruled out an airborne search of the area, the initial land search was started by the Carlton and Pine County Sheriff’s Offices with the assistance of the St Louis County Rescue Squad, Minnesota State Patrol, Civil Air Patrol, along with the Moose Lake and Willow River Fire Departments.

The investigation will continue as to the cause of the crash. The time the aircraft left the Moose Lake Airport has not been confirmed. The FAA and the NTSB will both be sending investigators. Further information will be released as it is available. Anyone with information regarding the plane crash or flights is asked to call the Carlton County Sheriff’s Office at 218-384-4185.


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