Written By: Brainerd Dispatch

A pilot and a passenger suffered minor injuries Wednesday, July 1, after the aircraft they were in crashed at a private landing airstrip, southeast of Brainerd.

Emergency responders were called just after 11 a.m. to the crash just west of the 10000 block of Oakridge Road.

Brainerd Fire Chief Tim Holmes said there were two adults on the airplane when it crashed. He said they walked from the field about a half-mile to the closest residence and called for help.

Capt. Joe Meyer of the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Office identified the pilot as Benjamin Buehler, 42, Green Bay, Wisconsin, and the passenger, who was sitting directly behind the pilot, as Andrew Dunlap, 62, Brainerd. Meyer said the pilot told investigators he was coming in for a landing, when he hit the brakes too much causing the aircraft to do a nose dive at a slow rate of speed.

Buehler suffered a laceration on his forehead and was transported by North Memorial Health Ambulance to be treated at Essentia Health-St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Brainerd. Dunlap had minor cuts and scratches and was not hospitalized.

Firefighters used a utility track vehicle to reach the airplane to make sure it wasn’t leaking any oil or other fluids before clearing the scene.

The crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Brainerd Police Department also assisted on scene.