NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Carlton County plane crash

NTSB releases preliminary report on fatal Carlton County plane crash Photo: KSTP

May 16, 2019 03:05 PM

The National Transportation and Safety Board has released its preliminary report on the fatal plane crash that killed 65-year-old Thomas Stillwell of Plymouth on May 8 near Moose Lake in Carlton County.

Stillwell, an accomplished doctor and experienced pilot, worked as a urologist in the Twin Cities, but often flew himself to rural parts of the state to see patients.

RELATED: Carlton County sheriff says missing plane, body found in river

The preliminary report said instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time Stillwell took off from the Moose Lake Carlton County Airport en route to Crystal Airport.

According to the report, Stillwell was issued an instrument clearance and a clearance void time of 4:35 p.m. When he did not check in with air traffic control, a search for the plane was initiated. The report said local law enforcement located the wreckage of the plane about a 1/4 mile northwest of the airport, in the Moose Horn River, the following morning.

RELATED: Pilot killed in Carlton County remembered for service to others

According to the report, the plane came to rest near the river's west bank in around 2-to-4 feet of water. The engine and propeller were embedded in the mud and silt on the river's bank and the tail was extended into the air.

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