Helicopter accident in Corcoran, MN - KMSP-TV

Helicopter accident in Corcoran, MN

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"When I saw it happen the thing that went through my mind was to pray and ask God for his protection," says Stefan Svard.

Those prayers must have been answered Sunday morning. Around 10:30am Stefan Svard watched his father land his personal helicopter in his backyard in Corcoran the way he has many times. This time something went terribly wrong.

"Sitting there watching him fully landed and then seeing it start to rotate and he knows what to do he was trying to control it actually saw the door of the helicopter fly open. That's when it started to rotate and spin around the back end of the helicopter hit the trailer, "says Svard "Within a few seconds the fire started I ran out with the fire extinguisher we got him out got his jacket off that was burning he was just fine. But my fire extinguisher was no match for the 20 gallons of fuel.

Rogers Fire, Rogers Police, Corcoran Police and the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office rushed to the scene, some admitting they expected worse.

"For an aircraft crash...no this is a pretty good ending where the pilot was able to escape with very minor injuries," says Major Darrell Huggett with the Hennepin County Sheriff's Office.

Svard identified his father as 68 year old Trygve Svard. He's described as an experienced pilot who frequently flies his Robinson 22 personal two seater helicopter between his home in Plymouth and his son's home in Corcoran.

"I have been up in the helicopter my kids have been up in it he's a really really good pilot," says Svard.

Svard believes a mechanical malfunction or possibly the cold weather caused his father's accident. Svard is thankful his dad walked away with just a scorched arm and singed facial hair.

"I just thank God that he is here and we are going to have a good Christmas," says Svard.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating the incident.

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