Saturday, September 23, 2017

Cessna TR182 Skylane, N4777T: Fatal accident occurred September 23, 2017 near Thief River Falls Regional Airport (KTVF), Pennington County, Minnesota

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Fargo, North Dakota

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Moy Wing:

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA361
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 23, 2017 in Thief River Falls, MN
Aircraft: CESSNA TR182, registration: N4777T
Injuries: 3 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On September 23, 2017, about 0745 central daylight time, a Cessna TR182 airplane, N4777T, impacted terrain about 3 nautical miles west of Thief River Falls Regional Airport (TVF), Thief River Falls, Minnesota. The private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured and the airplane was destroyed. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and no flight plan had been filed. The flight had just departed from TVF and was en route to Rawlins Municipal Airport (RWL), Rawlins, Wyoming. 

Several witnesses, who spoke to the pilot in days preceding the accident, stated that he had flown the same passengers from RWL to TVF on September 17 and returned to RWL the same day. The pilot inquired with the local fixed base operator (FBO) about obtaining a local area sectional chart. The pilot flew back to TVF on September 22 to retrieve the passengers. After landing at TVF the pilot described the flight as "terrible" because he flew at 1,500 ft above ground level (agl), under a cloud layer. 

A hotel employee spoke to pilot and passengers on the morning of the accident. The pilot was in the hotel lobby around 0530 checking the weather conditions and planning the flight. The passengers did not eat breakfast and expressed concern about the turbulence to be expected during the flight. The employee drove the three men to TVF about 0715. 

At 0701, the automated weather observation system (AWOS) at TVF reported wind from 340° at 6 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast clouds at 400 ft agl, temperature 50°F, dew point 48°F, and altimeter 29.95 inches of mercury; remarks – pressure rising rapidly. 

At 0801, the AWOS at TVF reported wind from 310° at 7 knots, 10 statute miles visibility, overcast clouds at 400 ft agl, temperature 50°F, dew point 48°F, and altimeter 29.98 inches of mercury. 

A witness who was about 1 mile southwest of the accident site stated that he heard the airplane overhead and the airplane's engine was "screaming" before he heard the impact. 

The accident site was located in a harvested wheat field next to a dirt road. The wreckage debris path began with a ground impact mark, which contained broken green glass from the right wing navigation light, and continued on a heading of 060° for about 200 yards. All the major airplane components were found at the accident site. 

The wreckage has been retained for further examination.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email 

Moy Wing
Born: Aug. 21, 1948
Died: Sept. 23, 2017

A wonderful loving father, brother, son, husband and friend, Moy Wing, celebrated 69 years of life. He exemplified generosity, grace, love, passion, loyalty and friendliness to all he encountered.

Moy came to Rawlins with his parents, Moy Kong (Charlie) Wing and Chin (Momma) Wing, as a child. He worked alongside his siblings in the family businesses at the Wing’s Cafe and the Ramada Inn.  He was a long-standing and respected member of the business community and most recently enjoyed working at Fremont Motors and Mountain West Motors.

Moy loved supporting the local community and was an enthusiastic member of the Shriners, Masons and Lion’s Club known for his extra fluffy pancakes at the annual fundraisers. He was also an active member of the Rawlins-Carbon County Airport Board and an avid outdoorsman who loved Wyoming, always referring to it as “God’s Country.”

Moy is lovingly remembered by his three girls, Kerri (Bob), Krista (John) and Sonjia, along with their mother Shirley. Moy is predeceased by his sisters, Toa and Sue (Jim), and survived by his brothers, Gene (Lois) and Quong; sister Me (Jerry); grandchildren, John and Ariane; nieces, nephews, other relatives and long-time companion Sue.

The Jacoby Funeral Home will host a celebration of life at 1 p.m. Saturday, Sept., 30, 2017, at the Masonic Lodge No. 5, Fifth and Pine streets, in Rawlins. Condolences and tributes can be offered at the online memory book located at   In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Conservation Fund at, the Wyoming Wildlife Federation at or the Civil Air Patrol at

Zach Ostertag

Brian Duke

MINNESOTA — Federal authorities continue to investigate the cause of a plane crash that claimed the lives of three Rawlins residents Saturday. The Minnesota Highway Patrol responded early Saturday morning to a plane crash near Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

According to a news release from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office on Saturday, the victims were identified as Moy Wing, 69, Brian Duke, 27, and Zach Ostertag, 26. Ostertag, an auto mechanic, was attending an Arctic Cat seminar on specialized vehicles in Thief River Falls when the event occurred.

The three men were pronounced dead at the scene.

NTSB confirmed the plane went down at Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast, roughly 70 miles from the Canadian border. Following the crash, law enforcement blocked off 130th Street, which was near the wreck, so officers could investigate the scene.

National Transportation Safety Board Public Affairs Officer Keith Holloway confirmed Tuesday the wreckage was moved to a secure facility and still being investigated by the FAA and NTSB.

Holloway said the onsite investigation had fully been completed.

“It’s possible a report could be filed early next week,” Holloway said. “It usually takes a week for the lead investigator to release a report following the incident.”

FAA officials identified the plane as a small Cessna 182. FAA records show Wing earned his private pilot’s certification in 2009, but was not instrument-qualified, meaning he should only fly when skies are clear and visibility is high. According to weather reports for Saturday morning, the skies in the area were overcast with a 10-mile visibility range.

The NTSB could not confirm whether a flock of birds caused the plane to crash, and remains under investigation.

Investigators collected wreckage Sunday afternoon, as traffic re-opened in the area of 130th and Center, west of the Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board were on the scene; the Saturday crash of a Cessna TR182 Skylane, piloted by 69 year old Moy Wing, with passengers 27 year old Brian Duke and 26 year old Zach Ostertag also on board. All three men were from Rawlins, Wyoming – Duke and Ostertag employed by Mountain West Motors, Incorporated; an Arctic Cat / Textron Dealership also in Rawlins. 

The plane went down just before 8am Saturday, shortly after take-off in low ceilings with a heavy overcast. Pennington County Sheriff Ray Kuznia saying he believes Wing was returning to the airport when the aircraft began to lose altitude, crashing into the field of wheat stubble, the aircraft disintegrating into debris and fire on impact, scattering wreckage; an aircraft wing coming to rest on the county road.

All three men died at the scene.

With the collection of wreckage the are reopened to traffic Sunday afternoon.

Autopsies have been ordered, with more information expected to be released in the days and weeks to come.

Original article can be found here ➤

THIEF RIVER FALLS, MN (Valley News Live) Three people have been confirmed dead after a small plane crashed in Thief River Falls, Minnesota. They have been identified as 69-year-old Moy Wing, 27-year-old Brian Duke, and 26-year-old Zach Ostertag, all of Rawlins, Wyoming.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office received a call around 7:50 Saturday morning that a small Cessna 182 aircraft had crashed in a field near the intersection of Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast.

While there are no confirmed witnesses of the crash, neighbors heard the plane hit the ground, which they at first though was a gunshot sound or someone slamming a car door closed.

One neighbor VNL spoke to was one of the first two on scene. Donna and Les Cota could see the explosion of the plane from their home. The couple couldn’t tell what had exploded, as they didn’t see the plane’s descent, but Les Cota grabbed a fire extinguisher and drove towards the flames.

Cota and another neighbor both arrived at the crash to find the plane in pieces and burning. The two men called the authorities and attempted to put out pieces of burning clothing and material with the extinguisher, but realized it would be best left to the responding fire department.

Cota says he approached what appeared to be a pile of clothing on fire in an attempt to extinguish it and found it to be one of the passengers of the plane. The bodies of the three passengers were found at varying distances from the final resting place of the main portion of the plane’s wreckage.

Though no one saw the actual crash, Cota explained that from markings in the field, it looked as though the plane may have hit the ground once, bounced, and then came to rest further down the field.

Sheriff Ron Kunzia of the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office says, while they don’t know what lead up to or caused the crash, that the plane may have been attempting to return to the Thief River Falls Airport shortly after take-off.

Drivers passing by said there was a low cloud ceiling around the time the plane crashed Saturday morning, and said that large flocks of geese often pass through the area, which can be a safety hazard for planes.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office closed off 130th Street NE to protect the crash scene until the Federal Aviation Administration, National Transportation Safety Board, and Cessna Textron Aviation arrive Sunday to conduct an investigation.

Story and video ➤

A small plane crashed just a few miles west of a regional Minnesota airport, killing all three people on board.

The Cessna TR182 Skylane went down around 7:50 a.m. Saturday morning at Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast in Thief River Falls, the Pennington County Sheriff's Office said.

That's just a few miles west of the Thief River Falls Regional Airport, though authorities haven't said if the plane had taken off from or was landing there.

The three people on board were killed: 69-year-old Moy Wing, 27-year-old Brian Duke and 26-year-old Zach Ostertag, the sheriff's office said. All of them were from Rawlins, Wyoming.

According to FAA records, there is a Moy Wing from Rawlins that owns two Cessnas, including a 1981 TR182 model. Wing was a member of the Carbon County Airport Board in Wyoming.

It's unclear if that's the one that crashed Saturday. A search on Flight Aware only comes up with a Cuba-to-California flight from two years ago. And a look at recent flights to and from the Thief River Falls Airport does not show either of the aircraft registered to Wing.

According to Facebook, both Duke and Ostertag work at Mountain West Motors in Rawlins. Ostertag was married, while Duke was engaged. 

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office said the FAA has been notified, and the case is under investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

THIEF RIVER FALLS, Minn. -- Employees of Mountain West Motors Inc. in Rawlins, Wyo., gathered Saturday afternoon, Sept. 23, at the outdoor sports store to mourn the loss of their co-workers and friends.

Three men were killed shortly before 8 a.m. when their Cessna TR182 Skylane crashed in a stubble wheat field outside Thief River Falls.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office identified the men as Moy Wing, 69, Brian Duke, 27, and Zach Ostertag, 26, all of Rawlins.

Social media indicated both Duke and Ostertag were mechanics at Mountain West, but the Herald was unable to verify if Wing also was employed there.

“We’re a small town in Wyoming, and everybody’s devastated right now,” said a Mountain West employee who spoke briefly to the Herald. “We’re just all finding out. It just happened this morning. We’re honestly all in shock right now.”

A Facebook post from Ostertag dated Wednesday, Sept. 20, announced “3 more days, I’m ready to go home.” He replied to a friend’s post that we was training for “Arctic Cat and Textron snow and dirt machines.”

Arctic Cat Inc., a major manufacturer of snowmobiles, ATVs and other off-road vehicles, is located in Thief River Falls.

The scene

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office said in a news release it received a 911 call shortly before 8 a.m. that a plane was down near the intersection of Center Avenue Northeast and 130th Street Northeast, an area southwest of town and about 2½ miles west of the Thief River Falls Regional Airport.

Emergency responders found the three men dead at the scene, the news release said.

A stretch of gravel road at 130th Street was blocked off Saturday afternoon as about a half-dozen uniformed officers and others continued to investigate the scene. From a distance, wreckage appeared to cross the roadway with debris scattered about 100 yards into the field.

Elizabeth Cory, a public affairs spokeswoman with the Federal Aviation Administration, said the crash is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board. No updates would be available until next week, she said, adding that investigations can take several months to more than a year to complete.

The Pennington County Sheriff’s Office, Thief River Falls Police Department, St. Hilaire Fire and First Responders, Thief River Falls Area Ambulance, Thief River Falls Fire Department and Minnesota State Patrol all responded to the crash.

Original article can be found here ➤

Three men from the state of Wyoming were found dead Saturday morning in the wreckage of a single-engine plane that crashed overnight near Thief River Falls, in northwestern Minnesota.

The Pennington County Sheriff's Office said it responded to a 911 call just before 8 a.m. Saturday. All three occupants, identified as Moy Wing, 69; Brian Duke, 27, and Zach Ostertag, 26; are from Rawlins, Wyo.

Authorities described the small plane as a Cessna 182. Thief River Falls is about 70 miles from the Canadian border — and 940 miles from Rawlins.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.

Ostertag, an auto mechanic, was attending an Arctic Cat seminar on specialized vehicles in Thief River Falls, according to his Facebook page. On Friday afternoon, he posted a picture of two Textron certificates — one for factory ATV/ROVs and another for factory snowmobiles — along with binders and some merchandise.

Later that night, Ostertag posted a video of a lightning storm in the area. It remains unclear when exactly the plane took off, but a calendar he recently posted on Facebook indicated that he expected to return home Saturday.

Duke and Ostertag both worked at Mountain West Motors Inc., an Arctic Cat dealership and auto body garage in Rawlins. When reached by phone Saturday, a worker at the shop declined to comment beyond, "We're still trying to piece together what happened. Everyone is walking around in shock."

According to FAA records, pilot Wing was issued a private pilot's certification in 2009.

Original article can be found here ➤

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