Four die in plane crash in Faribault

  • Article by: COURTNEY BLANCHARD , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 27, 2007 - 2:44 PM

FAA investigators were expected to arrive at the city's municipal airport early today.

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Four people reportedly died after their plane crashed at the Faribault Municipal Airport shortly after 2:55 p.m. Sunday. The FAA confirmed the plane was a Cirrus SR22 aircraft, which is equipped with a parachute that deploys from the back of the aircraft. Photos from KSTP-TV's helicopter showed the plane.

Photo: Kstp 5 Eyewitness News,

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Four people were killed Sunday afternoon when a small plane crashed at the municipal airport in Faribault, Minn.

Early in the afternoon, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration said four people were aboard and at least two had died. Faribault police later said no one had survived, and the Ramsey County medical examiner said late Sunday it had received the remains of four crash victims. The identities of the victims were not released.

The single-engine, four-seat Cirrus SR 22 went down shortly before 3 p.m. Sunday on a runway at the airport, which is near Interstate 35 and Hwy. 21.

"There's very little left," Faribault Police Chief Dan Collins said from the scene. He speculated that wind gusts above 20 miles per hour might have contributed to the crash.

Smoke snaked from the charred debris at the crash site, and a white parachute that appeared to be still tied shut lay behind it. The aircraft was hardly recognizable except for a few large white pieces of its outer shell.

FAA investigators were expected to arrive in Faribault this morning.

The plane, whose tail number was N 482 SR, was registered to Mayo Aviation in Aberdeen, S.D., according to the FAA. Mayo Aviation has no connection to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, a clinic spokesman said.

An FAA spokesman said the pilot had not registered a flight plan. Neither the FAA nor the Rice County Sheriff's Department would say if the plane was taking off or landing.

The SR 22 is a more powerful version of the Cirrus SR 20 made by the Cirrus Design Corp. of Duluth. Each plane is equipped with a large parachute that can be deployed in an emergency to lower the entire aircraft to the ground, according to CirrusDesign.com.

Dale Klapmeier, vice chairman of Cirrus Design, declined to comment Sunday night, saying that he could not do so until the FAA investigates.

The National Transportation Safety Board reported that since 2002, the SR 22 has been involved in 17 accidents resulting in 35 fatalities.

At least two of those fatal crashes were in Minnesota. In 2005, three people died in a crash near Arco, Minn. The plane was headed from Wayne, Neb., to Minneapolis when the pilot lost radar contact and became disoriented, eventually losing control of the plane, according to the NTSB. In 2004, two people died when their plane lost altitude during a turn and crashed into the woods near Hill City, Minn., according to the NTSB.

Among those who have died in SR 22 or SR 20 accidents was New York Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle, who was killed along with his flight instructor when his Cirrus SR 20 crashed into a New York high-rise on Oct. 11, 2006. That crash was caused by pilot miscalculation during a U-turn, the National Transportation Safety Board ruled in May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Courtney Blanchard • 612-673-4921

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