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Only minor injuries in plane crash

FARMINGTON, Minn. -- Pilot Benny Harris Svien of Northfield, Minn., walked away from his 2002 Kit Fox two-seater airplane after it crashed into a Dakota County cornfield Tuesday afternoon.

Svien, 61, was walking around and talking to Dakota County sheriff's deputies and paramedics after the crash, which occurred about 2 p.m. A county deputy accompanied Svien to Northfield Hospital, where he was going to get stitches for a cut received in the crash.

Dakota County sheriff Dave Bellows marveled at Svien's piloting abilities.

"More often than not, you have pretty serious injuries or fatalities in these situations," Bellows said. "I give a lot of credit to the pilot."

According to Bellows, Svien was flying at about 1,700 feet and preparing to land when the aircraft malfunctioned. Svien was able to take the plane down most of the way before it crashed into the cornfield.

Svien ran through the cornfield to a nearby farm, where he reported the incident. By the time the Farmington Fire Department arrived, the aircraft was engulfed in fire and was a complete loss.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were called to the scene, which is typical in plane crashes, Bellows said. The plane will be removed after the FAA and NTSB finish their investigations.