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Associated Press, Published June 06 2012

Pilot dies in Divide County plane crash

FORTUNA, N.D. — Authorities say a Crosby man died when his single engine plane crashed in a field shortly after takeoff over the weekend.

The Williston Herald reports that the 1974 fixed-wing single-engine plane crashed 13 miles southeast of Fortuna in Divide County shortly before 2 p.m.

The North Dakota Highway Patrol says pilot Clinton Hay of Crosby died at the scene. He had been flying from Crosby to the Fortuna area to check on a work site.

Witnesses told authorities that the plane started to gain altitude when the engine began to sputter. It then fell into a rapid descent and crashed nose first.

The cause of the crash was not immediately known. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

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Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.