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Ultralight crash near Bemidji leaves pilot dead

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BEMIDJI, Minn. (AP) — Authorities are investigating the crash of an ulltralight plane near Bemidji that killed one man and left another hospitalized.

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The plane crashed around 7:15 p.m. Monday at a grass landing strip west of Bemidji. The pilot, 49-year-old Jay Russell Davis, of Bemidji, died at the scene. His passenger, 56-year-old Paul Jerome Wannarka, of Bemidji, was airlifted to a Fargo, N.D., hospital.

In a news release Tuesday, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp says witnesses reported the plane was banking through a turn — apparently preparing to land — when the wing struck the ground causing the plane to crash.

Hodapp says witnesses told investigators that Davis was an experienced ultralight pilot.

The Pioneer newspaper reports (http://bit.ly/NUZPmK ) Davis took up passengers for at least three uneventful flights Monday night before the crash.

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Information from: Pioneer, http://www.bemidjipioneer.com

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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