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Brainerd man ditches plane in Mississippi River; he suffered minor injuries

Merrifield, Minn. (AP) -- A pilot had to ditch his single-engine airplane in a rice paddy on the Mississippi River moments after taking off from Brainerd Regional Airport.

Crow Wing County Sheriff Todd Dahl says the pilot, 59-year-old Rory Fredstrom of Brainerd, was able to get out of the airplane with minor injuries.

Authorities say Fredstrom reported losing speed and altitude after takeoff and had to ditch the plane about 8 p.m. Thursday. He was helped to shore by fishermen who were in the area.

Federal investigators are looking into the cause of the crash.