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Missing plane spotted Tuesday in wooded area near Mahnomen

A private pilot flying over Mahnomen County, Minn., spotted what appeared to be the wreckage of a plane in a remote wooded area 21 miles east of the city of Mahnomen, according to Sheriff Doug Krier.

The pilot saw the tail fin of a plane sticking out of the ground about 4:30 p.m. today, Krier said, and landed in Mahnomen to tell authorities. A deputy went up with the pilot to survey the scene and confirmed that it appeared to be a wrecked aircraft, though he could not tell what kind of aircraft it belonged to.

All day today and the last several days, authorities in Minnesota along with Minnesota's and North Dakota's Civil Air Patrol have been searching for a missing pilot, Andrew Lindberg, 32, of Farmington, Minn. He was flying solo in a Piper Cherokee from Lakeville, Minn., to Hallock, Minn., to hunt with family, but never arrived.

His father last heard from him Friday via text message traced to a cell phone tower near Wadena, Minn.

Minnesota Civil Air Patrol spokesman Al Pabon, who is coordinating the patrol's search, would only say that a search will continue Wednesday. He had no official comment about any wreckage found.

The private pilot that discovered the tail fin was not one of the Civial Air Patrol's searchers.

Because of the remote location of the apparent wreck, accessible only by a nearby snowmobile trail, and the onset of night, Krier said it was not possible to send out ground search parties tonight. Deputies from Clearwater and Becker Counties will assist in the search Wednesday, he said.