ULTRALIGHT PLANE CRASH
On Monday August 27, 2012 at approximately 7:15 PM- the Beltrami County Sheriff’s Office was notified of the crash of an ultra-light airplane at the Moberg Seaplane Air Base, a grass landing strip located west of Bemidji off of 15th St NW in Grant Valley Township. Ultra-light plane pilot Jay Russell Davis, age 49 of Bemidji was pronounced dead at the scene. A passenger on the aircraft, Paul Jerome Wannarka, age 56, of Bemidji was injured and transported by Bemidji Ambulance to Sanford Hospital in Bemidji and shortly afterward was” lifeflighted “ to an undisclosed Fargo hospital.
According to witnesses, Davis is an experienced Ultra-light pilot who was giving rides to other ultralight enthusiasts yesterday evening. There had been three or four uneventful flights by Mr. Davis with other passengers prior to the crash. Witnesses said the plane was banking through a turn apparently preparing to land at the grass strip when the wing struck the ground causing the plane to crash. This aircraft is described as a “tricycle” style plane with seating for the pilot and one passenger position behind the pilot. Both the pilot and passenger were strapped into their seats at the time of the crash.
Bemidji Police, Minnesota State Patrol Troopers, Bemidji Fire Department, Bemidji Ambulance and Beltrami County First Responders assisted the Sheriff’s Office at the scene and with the investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration is also assisting with the investigation of this plane crash.
Sheriff Phil Hodapp