A 28-year-old man from St. Paul who served in the Air Force and described as a seeker of adventure was among 11 people who died in a skydiving plane crash last week in Hawaii.

All 11 on board the plane were killed when it crashed and burned at a small airfield north of Honolulu last week.

The Honolulu Medical Examiner’s Office has so far identified seven victims. Family members have confirmed the deaths of two others.

Nikolas Glebov of St. Paul was a “kind, sweet and gentle young man” who loved bicycling and the outdoors, said his stepfather, Mike Mostad. “I loved him like he was my own son.”

Glebov was mature for his age and dedicated to his studies. He played tennis and rode his bicycle so much he went through three bikes in four years. “Even in January in 2 feet of snow he rode his bicycle,” Mostad said.

Glebov and his family moved to the United States from Ukraine in 2005, and "he fell in love with America," said his mother, Lana Mostad.

She said her son graduated from Tartan High School in Oakdale and attended the University of Minnesota but left after a year for the Air Force.

He enlisted at age 20, serving from 2012-16, achieving the rank of senior airman. More recently, he went to work for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on board a fisheries survey ship based in Kodiak, Alaska.

"He was so grateful to have this job, which suited him perfectly," Lana Mostad said. 

Glebov was at the end of a one-month, six-island Hawaii vacation at the time of the crash. He was scheduled to return to Alaska on Sunday, two days after the crash.

"He told me ... he wanted to try a lot of new things in Hawaii including snorkeling and skydiving," Glebov's mother said.

"When he mentioned skydiving, I told him it is dangerous, and [I tried] to talk him out of this, but his answer was 'I am not on vacation in Hawaii, I am on exploration of Hawaii.' "

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.