Herald JournalHerald Journal, August 29, 2004

Plane flips over on South Lake

By Ryan Gueningsman

“What did I just see here?”

That was the question Roger Roepke of Cokato asked himself Thursday afternoon after witnessing a plane tip over on South Lake, approximately two miles south of Winsted.

Roepke was on his way to visit an insurance client who lives north of Lester Prairie when he saw the single engine Searey aircraft coming in for a landing on South Lake. Roepke said that the plane glided in for what appeared to be a normal landing on the small lake.

“It skidded on the water like they normally do,” Roepke said. “Then the nose end of the plane hit into the water and flipped it completely over.”

Roepke went to the nearest house he could find, saw a man outside mowing grass, and asked to use his phone to call emergency personnel.

Roepke figured it was about five to 10 minutes before emergency personnel arrived at the scene.

“It was frustrating to see a plane tipped over on the other side of a lake, and not knowing how to get to it or be able to help the person,” Roepke said.

The pilot of the aircraft, Edgar Alan Reay, 63, of Mound, was not injured when the plane tipped over, with the exception of having a few scrapes on his face.

The plane is owned by Robert Jerome Reid of Delano, according to the McLeod County Sheriff’s Department.

The plane was pulled to the shore of South Lake Thursday evening, and lifted with a crane up the steep bank Friday afternoon. The plane was transported to the Winsted Airport and is in the care of its owner.

The cause of the crash remains under investigation, according to the sheriff’s department. The Federal Aviation Association (FAA) has been notified of the crash. Assisting at the scene of the crash were the Winsted Police Department, Winsted Fire Department, Ridgeview Ambulance, as well as divers from the Hutchinson, Glencoe, and Brownton Fire Departments.

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