NTSB Report: Pilot Flew Too Low before Plane Crashed into Mississippi

May 14, 2018 12:39 PM

The video above originally aired on Oct. 14.

Federal investigators have concluded the pilot of a small plane was flying too low over the Mississippi River last October just before crashing into the water, killing himself and his wife.


The National Transportation Safety Board's final report on the crash concludes the pilot's decision to fly at a "low altitude contrary to applicable regulations and safety flight considerations" led to the plane striking power lines and plunging into the river near Ramsey and Anoka.

RELATED: Authorities Identify Mississippi River Plane Crash Victim, Locate Wreckage

The report listed contributing factors including the pilot's inability to see and avoid the power lines due to their proximity to a bend in the river and the position of the sun at the time of the crash.

According to the report, the airplane was "less than 100 feet above the river and within 400 feet of the residences located along the river during the final portion of the flight."

RELATED: River Search Continues After Small Plane Crash Kills at Least 1 in Anoka

The report also notes one witness "initially thought that the pilot intended to fly under the power lines due to the low altitude of the airplane."

Forty-seven-year-old Chad Rygwall and 48-year-old Jill Rygwall, both of Princeton, were killed in the crash, which occurred on Oct. 13 of last year.

The flight originated at the Princeton Municipal Airport.

The Associated Press contributed to this story


Frank Rajkowski

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