Family identified the pilot killed in a Sunday morning plane crash in southwestern Minnesota as 56-year-old Scott William Fredin.
Jeff Fredin said he last spoke to his brother around noon Saturday. Scott Fredin was on his way to Tennessee for business early Sunday when his plane crashed just north of the Windom Municipal Airport.
"Everything was good," Jeff Fredin said in an interview Monday, adding that his brother sent a text message to a friend at 6:15 a.m., shortly before a scheduled 6:21 a.m. takeoff.
The family owns and operates Fredin Brothers, a cattle company based in Springfield, Minn., and founded by brothers Jeff and Curt Fredin with their late father in 1976. Scott Fredin was the company pilot flying to Knoxville, Tenn., on Sunday morning.
"He was going down there to look at cattle," Jeff Fredin said. "Our business wasn't here in Minnesota, it was all over the country."
The Windom airport notified the Cottonwood County Sheriff's Office at 7:05 a.m. that it lost contact with the plane. About 40 minutes later, the crash site was located about 2 ½ miles north of the airport, according to Heather Janssen with the Sheriff's Office.
Scott Fredin was "not in the air for more than a minute," Jeff Fredin said, adding it was foggy that morning and he wasn't aware of his brother having any medical issues that may have interfered with his ability to fly.
The loss is a blow to brothers Jeff and Curt Fredin, who have lost three siblings in less than two years.
"There was five of us at one time, we're now down to two," Jeff Fredin said. In March 2019, brother Wayne Fredin and sister Brenda Fredin Geffre both died unexpectedly.
"That's life," Jeff Fredin said. "You just never know."
Funeral arrangements for Scott Fredin are pending.
'Not the day to be flying'
Scott Fredin was issued a pilot certificate in 2004. In July, he applied for a medical class certificate, which is typically issued for two years. But he received only a one-year certificate, which Robert Katz, a longtime pilot and instructor who tracks plane crashes across the country, said is a red flag because it indicates a disqualifying medical condition preventing a full issuance.
Scott Fredin's last flight registered on the aviation website Flight Aware was Nov. 19, when he flew to Iowa for his annual plane inspection, Jeff Fredin said. Sunday's flight was not registered on Flight Aware; Cameron Johnson, who works as a pilot for Fredin Brothers, said it doesn't appear online because the plane wasn't in the air long enough to activate the site.
Johnson said visibility was low Sunday morning and "personal limits" factor into decisions about whether to fly, but Scott Fredin didn't break any FAA rules.
Katz said the Piper PA-32R Scott Fredin was flying was not equipped for flight in icy conditions and that visibility was extremely low.
"That was not the day to be flying," Katz said.
The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The cause of death remains under investigation at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner's Office.
Kim Hyatt • 612-673-4751