Plane Crash in Ellendale
“He beat the odds for sure.”
That’s how a plane crash survivor’s wife described the harrowing experience her husband went through Feb. 2 when his plane crashed into a Steele County farm field.
Deanna Bass of Winona was counting her blessings from a hospital room at St. Mary’s Hospital in Rochester Saturday as her husband, Daniel Bass, 39, recovered from the injuries he sustained in the crash. Daniel Bass suffered serious injuries, but Deanna declined to reveal them. However, she said he is recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning.
Daniel Bass is an experienced pilot who has been flying for many years, according to his wife. He was piloting a single-engine Mooney M20M aircraft that had taken off from Duluth and traveling back home to Winona.
During the flight, the plane veered off course and disappeared from radar around 8 p.m. The Federal Aviation Administration reported the aircraft missing at about 8:15 p.m. to the Rice-Steele Dispatch Center, according to Sheriff Lon Thiele. The sheriff’s office received a 911 call reporting the plane crash just north of Beaver Lake outside of Ellendale around 9:10 p.m. after Bass walked to a residence seeking help.
North Memorial Air Ambulance responded to the scene and transported Bass to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Ellendale Fire and Ambulance, Minnesota State Patrol, Blooming Prairie Police and sheriff’s deputies from Steele, Freeborn and Mower counties responded to the crash. The public had been asked by Steele County officials to avoid the area and deputies secured the scene until FAA investigators arrived the next morning.
It’s unknown exactly when the plane went down.
On Friday, FAA investigators began piecing together what happened. A sheriff’s deputy assisted the FAA by taking photos of the crash scene.
The heavily damaged plane was removed from the farm field late Friday afternoon. The FAA is continuing its investigation, which typically takes several weeks to complete.
While there is no official cause, Deanna Bass told the Times that the plane likely developed mechanical problems with the heater in the engine area. She said carbon monoxide fumes came into the cabin, causing her husband to become disoriented and the plane to veer off course. She did not know if he was unconscious when the plane went down.
As of Saturday, Bass was in stable condition, though Deanna did not have any idea how long before he would be released. “He’s having a good day,” she said.
Said Sheriff Thiele: “He’s a very, very lucky guy.”