Glencoe Plane Crash/Pilot Not Trained 27 Dec 12

A plane crash that killed three family members near Glencoe, Minn., earlier this year resulted from the 52-year-old pilot flying into conditions for which he wasn’t equipped or trained, causing him to lose control and the plane to break apart in midair. The Star Tribune reports federal investigators have made that determination.

Pilot Stuart Dahlberg of Brooklyn Center, who was not certified to fly by instruments, flew into low clouds not long before his single-engine plane crashed into a muddy farm field about 11:12 a.m. on March 21, about 4 miles north of Glencoe, according to a report on the crash issued this month by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

The fiery crash killed Dahlberg, his wife, 36-year-old Ivelisse Morillo Dahlberg, his 76-year-old mother, Mae Dahlberg of St. Cloud, and three pet dogs. They were flying from Crystal Airport to Craig, Colo., to watch a high school play directed by Stuart Dahlberg’s sister.

The crash of the 1947 single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, which Stuart Dahlberg owned, left a 900-foot-long swath of torn and burned debris across two plowed fields.

Neither Dahlberg’s pilot’s license nor the logbooks provided by his family members reflected that he’d had any training to fly by instruments, the NTSB report said. In addition, the plane, while certified air worthy for normal operations, did not have the instruments necessary to fly without normal visibility, the report said.

The report also included indications that Dahlberg was less than fully prepared for the flight:

Officials said “The pilot did not request weather information for his route of flight, nor did he file a flight plan.”