Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Flight Instructing is dangerous

Not coming home was in my mind every now and then. Lifting off the earth into the skies...I would sometimes think "what if". Well "what if" happened to two aviators this week. Godspeed.........

Annette Klosterman (left) and Adam Ostapenko

Civil Air Patrol says UND plane, bodies found

Annette Klosterman (left) and Adam Ostapenko

A flight instructor and a student pilot died when a University of North Dakota airplane crashed in a swampy area during a training flight from St. Paul to Grand Forks, the Todd County Sheriff's Department confirmed Wednesday night.

An air crew from the Minnesota Wing of the Civil Air Patrol found the wreckage near Turtle Creek Township northeast of Browerville around 4:10 p.m., the CAP said.

A search and rescue team from the sheriff's department and a CAP ground team from St. Cloud confirmed the find.

The pilot, Annette Klosterman, 22, a UND flight instructor from Seattle, and Adam Ostapenko, 20, a junior aviation student from Duluth, were killed in the crash, authorities said.

The UND plane had left St. Paul shortly before 9:30 p.m. Tuesday. Air traffic officials in Minneapolis last spoke to Klosterman and Ostapenko in a routine conversation at 10:15 p.m., in the St. Cloud area.

The plane was due to arrive in Grand Forks at 11:45 p.m. Tuesday, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said. The FAA sent out a notice at 1:46 a.m. Wednesday, alerting airports and law enforcement officials along the flight path, when the pilot did not close out the flight plan that had been filed with the agency before takeoff, she said.

"What (the notice) does is alert airports and sheriffs and local law enforcement on the path ... and asked them to start looking," Isham Cory said.

A ground search of all airports from St. Cloud to Grand Forks was conducted early Wednesday, UND said, and the Civil Air Patrol sent five aircraft at daybreak to continue the search.

Civil Air Patrol Capt. Al Pabon said more planes joined the search Wednesday afternoon, with volunteer pilots coming from several Minnesota cities.

The crash site is about 20 miles northwest of Little Falls.

Last December, two UND students were killed when a single-engine Cessna left the Crookston airport and crashed into a farm field. Friends said pilot Jacob Rueth, 18, of Orland Park, Ill., and passenger Jacob Allen Sundblad, 19, of Annandale, had gone to practice takeoffs and landings.
(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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