Airplane Crash north of Duluth - UPDATE

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Sheriff's Office • 100 North Fifth Avenue West • Duluth, MN 55802
Phone: (218) 726-2340 •

Gordon Ramsay

Airplane Crash North of Duluth

At 08:12 AM on Wednesday, June 21st, 2023, St. Louis County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a report of a plane crash near the 8300 block of Pequaywan Lake Rd in unorganized township 54R13. The state duty officer received a call from Air Force rescue of a registered aircraft beacon that had been alarmed. A spotter plane in the area observed possible wreckage on the ground. Upon arrival, deputies located the crash site in a wooded area to the West of Pequaywan Lake Rd. Both the pilot and passenger were found to be deceased.

Through investigation, the plane was determined to be a 1946 Aeronca Cjamp, which can seat two occupants. At this time the cause of the crash is unknown. It is believed the aircraft recently completed an annual inspection and was on a “return to service” flight. The aircraft is believed to have taken off from the Duluth International Airport earlier in the morning.

The FAA will be investigating the incident. Deputies were assisted by the St. Louis County Rescue Squad, the Pequaywan Township fire department, Mayo ambulance, Midwest Medical Examiner’s Office and others.

Names of the deceased individuals will be released after positive identification has been established and next of kin notified.


Updated Information

The two parties who died in the plane crash have been identified:

  • Bryan Paul Handyside, 60 years old, from unorganized township 54R13.
  • Matthew William Joseph, 64 years old, from Duluth.

Bryan and Matthew are co-workers at Cirrus; however, the aircraft being flown was privately owned. Bryan was piloting the plane, and Matthew was the passenger. Bryan was reported to have over 30 years of piloting experience. The plane is identified as a 1946 Aeronca 7CCM, tail number N308ED.

The original notification came from the Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) in Florida. They detected an ELT (Emergency locator transmitter) distress signal from the airplane early this morning. AFRCC contacted authorities in Minnesota, who in turn contacted the Sheriff's Office for assistance. The NTSB will be responding to the scene to conduct an investigation. For additional details regarding the accident, please refer to NTSB officials. 










Date: 06/21/23

Media Contact: Sgt. Eric Sathers
(218) 576-3383