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Plane crash in Goodhue County kills Lakeville man

RED WING - A Lakeville man was found dead in the wreckage of his ulralight plane early Sunday in Cherry Grove Township, the Goodhue County Sheriff's Office reported.

Mark Ellis, 58, flew out of Farmington early Saturday afternoon and landed at an airstrip in Wanamingo a few hours later. Ellis and a friend in a second plane took off from Wanamingo between 4 and 5 p.m.

The man in the second plane said he detoured to Northfield to avoid bad weather. The planes didn't have radio communication between them, but the man said he thought Ellis had followed him.

Ellis' wife called the Lakeville Police Department late Saturday night, six hours after Ellis was supposed to have returned, the sheriff's office reported.

Authorities used pings off of cell phone towers to narrow the search area to Cherry Grove Township. Rescuers began looking for the downed plane Saturday night, but darkness stopped the search until Sunday morning.

Ellis was found in his plane just before 6 a.m. Sunday. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

Wanamingo first responders and the Minnesota Regional Coroner's Office assisted at the scene. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.