Sunday, September 24, 2017

Mitsubishi MU-2B-40 Solitaire, owned by private individuals and operated by the pilot, N73MA: Fatal accident occurred September 23, 2017 near Ainsworth Regional Airport (KANW), Brown County, Nebraska

Dr. Robert George Cook

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Lincoln, Nebraska
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries; Addison, Texas
Honeywell Aerospace; Phoenix, Arizona 
Honeywell Product Integrity; Olathe, Kansas
Hartzell Propeller; Piqua, Ohio

Aviation Accident Factual Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Location: Ainsworth, NE
Accident Number: CEN17FA362
Date & Time: 09/23/2017, 1028 CDT
Registration: N73MA
Aircraft: MITSUBISHI MU 2B-40
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Defining Event: Loss of control in flight
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 23, 2017, about 1028 central daylight time, a Mitsubishi MU 2B-40 airplane, N73MA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 3.5 miles northeast of the Ainsworth Regional Airport (ANW), Ainsworth, Nebraska. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was owned by private individuals and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed for the flight; however, it had not been activated. The personal flight was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Bottineau Municipal Airport (D09), Bottineau, North Dakota.

According to Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) records and the pilot's cellular telephone records, the pilot contacted the Flight Service Station (FSS) in Fort Worth, Texas, about 1015 on the morning of the accident to file an IFR flight plan. The pilot stated that he was en route to D09 and requested an altitude of 16,000 ft. The FSS specialist offered to provide adverse weather and route of flight information; the pilot declined.

There were no other telephone calls made to FAA air traffic control (ATC) facilities or FSS, from the pilot's telephone, before the accident. Several notices to airman (NOTAMS) were issued for ANW and were valid on the day of the accident. Specifically, the hazardous inflight weather advisory service outlet and the remote communications outlet on frequencies 122.4 and 121.5 were out of service.

According to the ANW airport manager, the airplane was fueled in a hangar just before the flight because it was raining. The airport manager was in the fixed base operator (FBO) building when he heard the start of both engines; everything sounded normal. He watched the airplane depart from runway 35 (6,824 ft by 110 ft; asphalt) and enter the clouds.

Several witnesses in the area reported hearing an airplane flying from the southwest to the northeast. One witness located north of ANW characterized the sound as if the airplane was lower than usual or buzzing the ground. One witness stated that the visibility was low and that the engines sounded "wound up really tight, full throttle, and very loud." The witness heard a "thud" as he was walking into his house and asked his wife if anything had fallen in the house to which she responded no; he attributed the noise to a thunderstorm in the vicinity.

According to the pilot's family, he was flying to D09 to pick up a dog, who had been at a training camp all summer. He planned to meet a friend, who was training his dog, at D09 around 1200. The airplane was reported missing by the friend of the pilot when the airplane did not arrive at D09 as scheduled. The wreckage was located about 1800.

A search of ATC radar data did not find any primary or secondary radar targets consistent with the accident airplane. The "low altitude radar" was not operational in the area of ANW on the day of the accident. The airplane's exact route of flight after takeoff could not be established. 

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 69, Male
Airplane Rating(s): Multi-engine Land; Multi-engine Sea; Single-engine Land
Seat Occupied: Unknown
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): Airplane
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: Yes
Medical Certification: Class 3 With Waivers/Limitations
Last FAA Medical Exam: 05/09/2016
Occupational Pilot: No
Last Flight Review or Equivalent: 06/03/2017
Flight Time: (Estimated) 3775 hours (Total, all aircraft), 2850 hours (Total, this make and model)

At the time of medical certificate application, the pilot reported no chronic medical conditions and no medications. The pilot was issued a medical certificate that contained the limitation "must wear corrective lenses for near and distant vision."

The pilot's flight logbook was not located during the investigation. The co-owner of the airplane stated that he had co-owned several MU-2 airplanes with the pilot since 2000, and he estimated that the pilot had logged 2,500 hours in the make and model of the accident airplane. According to the pilot's application for medical certificate, dated May 9, 2016, he estimated his total pilot time was 3,775 hours; 64 of which were logged in the previous 6 months.

According to records provided by SIMCOM Aviation Training, the pilot had completed initial Mitsubishi MU-2B training at Flight Safety in 1999. The pilot's most recent recurrent training was completed on June 3, 2017, at SIMCOM. The pilot also successfully completed an instrument proficiency check at that time. The instrument training included a simulated partial panel instrument landing system (ILS) approach. At the time of the most recent recurrent course, the pilot estimated his time on the prerequisite form as 2,850 hours in MU-2B airplanes.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: MITSUBISHI
Registration: N73MA
Model/Series: MU 2B-40 26A
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1979
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal
Serial Number: 414 SA
Landing Gear Type: Retractable - Tricycle
Seats: 7
Date/Type of Last Inspection: 09/05/2017, 100 Hour
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 10470 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: Engines: 2 Turbo Prop
Airframe Total Time: 5383.6 Hours as of last inspection
Engine Manufacturer: Honeywell
ELT: C91A installed, not activated
Engine Model/Series: TPE331
Registered Owner: On file
Rated Power:
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

A flight log for the accident airplane, located in the wreckage and dated September 22, 2017, showed the airplane cycles at 1,125, and the hobbs at takeoff as 13,850.0 hours. The hobbs landing and flight time fields were not populated on the form. The departure airport was Kenosha Regional Airport (ENW), Kenosha, Wisconsin, and the destination was ANW.

According to a photograph of the instrument panel provided by the co-owner, the airplane was equipped with a two-screen Chelton Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS) display in place of the standard 6 primary flight instruments on the pilot-side of the instrument panel. Below the two-screen Chelton display, from left to right, the pilot had an attitude indicator and a turn and slip indicator. A second attitude indicator was mounted on the co-pilot's side of the instrument panel, on the upper right corner. 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KANW, 2588 ft msl
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 1035 CDT
Direction from Accident Site: 209°
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Visibility:  1.75 Miles
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 500 ft agl
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 10 knots /
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual: None / None
Wind Direction: 360°
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual: N/A / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Temperature/Dew Point: 9°C / 9°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: Mist; No Precipitation
Departure Point: Ainsworth, NE (KANW)
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Destination: Bottineau, ND (D09)
Type of Clearance: None
Departure Time: 1028 CDT
Type of Airspace: Class E

A weather study was conducted by the National Transportation Safety Board in support of this accident investigation and the detailed weather study is available in the public docket.

The National Weather Service Surface (NWS) Surface Analysis Chart for 1000 CDT depicted a low-pressure system and an associated stationary front south of the accident site, with the accident site in an area of favorable overrunning conditions for low cloud development. The station models in the vicinity of the accident site, north of the front, indicated northerly winds of 5 to 10 knots, overcast cloud cover, and restricted visibility in fog or mist.

A review of the NWS Composite Reflectivity image taken at 1025 CDT depicted several strong to intense cells between 59 and 75 miles to the east-northeast of ANW and the accident site with no significant echoes in the immediate vicinity of the accident site. The Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite depicted two bands of clouds with a radiative cloud top temperature consistent with 24,000 ft; the bands were on either side of the accident site. Low stratiform clouds were over the accident site.

The ANW weather observation taken at 1015 CDT reported wind from 360° at 10 knots, visibility 1 3/4 miles in mist, ceiling overcast at 500 ft agl. Temperature 10° Celsius (C), dew point temperature 10 C, and altimeter 30.02 inches of mercury. Similar conditions continued to be reported.

A Convective SIGMET for an area of embedded thunderstorms, a Center Weather Advisory for an area of heavy rain showers, and AIRMET Sierra for an extensive area of IFR conditions, were indicated for the route of flight.

Airport Information

Airport: Ainsworth Regional (KANW)
Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 2588 ft
Runway Surface Condition:
Runway Used: 35
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 6824 ft / 110 ft
VFR Approach/Landing: None

Ainsworth Regional Airport is a public, non-towered airport (Class E airspace) located 6 miles northwest of Ainsworth, Nebraska., at a surveyed elevation of 2,588 ft. The airport had 2 open asphalt runways; runway 17/35 (6,824 ft by 110 ft) and runway 13/31 (5,501 ft by 1,677 ft by 73 ft). Four area navigation (RNAV) (GPS) approaches and 2 VHF omnidirectional range (VOR) approaches were available. Special takeoff minimums of 1 statute mile visibility and obstacles departure procedures due to a fence near the departure end of runway 31 were in place. 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 42.536944, -99.959167 

The wreckage came to rest in a grazing pasture vegetated with tall grass. The accident site was at an elevation of 2,590 ft msl, and the debris and wreckage path were oriented on a magnetic heading of 270°.

Torn and fragmented remains of the left wing tip tank were located in the initial impact crater. The crater was about 3 ft deep, 10 ft wide, and 8 ft long. A long narrow ground scar extended from the initial impact crater west 6 ft to a second crater. The scar was about 3 ft at its widest point and about 1 ft deep.

The second crater was about 25 ft long, 20 ft at its widest point, and 6 ft deep. The second crater contained the left engine and left propeller assembly. The assembly exhibited signatures consistent with exposure to heat and fire. Two propeller blades separated from the propeller assembly and were embedded in the crater. The outboard 6 inches of two blades separated and were located north of the crater. The crater also contained torn and fragmented metal consistent with the left wing and fuselage, engine tubing and components, and the counter weight for the left horizontal stabilizer.

The right engine was located at the west end of the crater and was embedded in the ground.

A ground scar extended 6 ft west to a third crater. The crater was about 3 ft deep, 8 ft long, and 7 ft at its widest point. The crater contained fragmented metal, tubing, and components. The debris field continued from the third crater west about 23 ft to the main piece of wreckage.

The left main landing gear assembly was located 12 ft north of the main wreckage. The landing gear actuator position was consistent with the landing gear being retracted. The right main landing gear was with the main wreckage.

The main wreckage included flight control cables, electrical wiring, tubing, the vertical stabilizer, rudder, and center and left side of the wing.

Cabin seats, electrical wiring cables, and torn and fragmented metal extended farther west from the main wreckage. The farthest component was located about 280 ft southwest of the wreckage on the adjacent dirt farm road. The right elevator separated and was located 4 ft west of the main piece of wreckage. The right flap was separated and located about 10 ft farther west. The control cables were broken in multiple locations and continuity could not be confirmed. Separated cable ends illustrated broomstraw signatures consistent with overload separation due to impact forces. The fuselage was fragmented. The wing flaps were set at zero based upon the actuator position and was consistent with damage signatures on the cockpit flap selector.

The scope of the examination was limited by fragmentation due to impact damage; however, no anomalies consistent with a preimpact failure or malfunction were observed. 

Medical And Pathological Information

The Nebraska Institute of Forensic Sciences, Inc. performed the autopsy on the pilot on September 26, 2017, as authorized by Brown County Nebraska. The autopsy concluded that the cause of death was "multiple blunt force trauma," and the report listed the specific injuries. There was no evidence of recent medical intervention or natural disease that could pose a hazard to flight safety.

The FAA Bioaeronautical Sciences Research Laboratory, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, performed toxicological tests on specimens that were collected during the pilot's autopsy. Carbon monoxide and cyanide tests were not performed. Results were negative for tested drugs. Testing of the liver revealed 12 mg/dL ethanol; however, no ethanol was detected in the muscle tissue. When ethanol is ingested, it is quickly distributed throughout the body's tissues and fluids fairly uniformly. Ethanol may also be produced in the body after death by microbial activity.

Additional Information

Chelton Air Data Attitude Heading Reference System (ADAHRS)

A Chelton ADAHRS was installed on the airplane in October of 2008 in accordance with the Chelton Flight Systems supplemental type certificate (STC) SA02203AK. During a flight from Kenosha, Wisconsin, to LaCross, Wisconsin, on the Wednesday before the accident, the pilot encountered a "transient flag" on the Chelton ADAHRS and mentioned it to the co-owner of the airplane. The pilot planned to take the airplane in for avionics work to follow-up on this issue the next week.

The owners of the airplane had avionics work completed at May Day Avionics in Grand Rapids, Michigan; there was no work done on the avionics immediately before the accident flight. According to a manager at May Day Avionics, the pilot left a voice mail on or around September 21 (2 days before the accident), regarding a transient flag he received on the unit. The voicemail stated that the flag was related to ADAHRS, but no further detail was provided. The manager did not speak directly with the pilot about the flag before the accident and could not provide any further details regarding the issue.

The Chelton Flight Systems Manual, Section 3, addresses "Failure Modes" for the system. There are potentially 6 modes with an ADAHRS failure mode or flag. Without further details regarding this transient flag the pilot encountered, it is not possible to factually discuss the impact this failure would have on the information displayed for the pilot. It is not known if the pilot had an issue with the Chelton system at the time of the accident.

The Chelton ADAHRS was fragmented in the accident and could not be functionally tested.

Wreckage Examination

The airplane wreckage was recovered and relocated to a secure facility for further examination.

The right engine exhibited extensive impact damage and was fragmented. Rotational scoring was present on the impeller blades and shroud. The first stage impeller was impact separated and all blades were separated along the hub at the root. The third stage blades were intact and exhibited metal spray. The right engine accessories were impact damaged and separated and could not be functionally tested.

The left engine exhibited extensive impact damage and was fragmented. The first stage impeller was impact damaged and all but two blades separated. The blades of the second stage impeller were bent opposite the direction of rotation with heavy wear signatures. The third stage blades were impact damaged, bent, and exhibited "heavy rub" signatures and metal spray deposits. The left engine accessories were impact damaged and separated and could not be functionally tested.

The left propeller assembly separated from the engine at the propeller flange. Three of the four blades from the left propeller assembly separated. Impact marks in the hydraulic units were consistent with a blade pitch between 26° and 60°. The blades were bowed and twisted and exhibited chordwise/rotational scoring, leading edge polishing, and gouges. The tips of two blades were impact separated.

The right propeller assembly separated from the engine at the propeller flange. Three of the four blades from the right propeller assembly separated. The blades were bowed and twisted and exhibited chordwise/rotational scoring, leading edge polishing, and gouges. The tip of one blade was impact separated.

The damage to both propeller assemblies was similar and symmetric, and the damage to the blades was consistent with ground impact while the engine was producing power and the propeller blades were producing thrust. No anomalies were noted that would have precluded normal operations.

Spatial Disorientation

The FAA Civil Aeromedical Institute's publication, "Introduction to Aviation Physiology," defines spatial disorientation as a loss of proper bearings or a state of mental confusion as to position, location, or movement relative to the position of the earth. Factors contributing to spatial disorientation include changes in acceleration, flight in IMC, frequent transfer between visual meteorological conditions (VMC) and IMC, and unperceived changes in aircraft attitude.

The FAA's Airplane Flying Handbook (FAA-H-8083-3A) describes some hazards associated with flying when the ground or horizon are obscured. The handbook states, in part:

"The vestibular sense (motion sensing by the inner ear) in particular tends to confuse the pilot. Because of inertia, the sensory areas of the inner ear cannot detect slight changes in the attitude of the airplane, nor can they accurately sense attitude changes that occur at a uniform rate over a period of time. On the other hand, false sensations are often generated; leading the pilot to believe the attitude of the airplane has changed when in fact, it has not. These false sensations result in the pilot experiencing spatial disorientation."

NTSB Identification: CEN17FA362
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, September 23, 2017 in Ainsworth, NE
Aircraft: MITSUBISHI MU 2B-40, registration: N73MA
Injuries: 1 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 1028 central daylight time, a Mitsubishi MU 2B-40 airplane, N73MA, was destroyed when it impacted terrain 3.5 miles northeast of the Ainsworth Regional Airport (ANW), Ainsworth, Nebraska. The private pilot was fatally injured. The personal flight was conducted under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed and a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) flight plan had been filed for the flight. The airplane was originating at the time of the accident and was en route to Bottineau Municipal Airport (D09), Bottineau, North Dakota.

According to the airport manager, the airplane was fueled in a hangar just prior to the flight. The airport manager watched the airplane depart from runway 35 (6,824 feet by 110 feet; asphalt) and enter the clouds. Several witnesses in the area reported hearing the airplane takeoff and a loud noise shortly thereafter; however, the witnesses attributed the loud noise to a thunderstorm in the area. The airplane was reported missing by a friend of the pilot when the airplane did not arrive at D09. The wreckage was located around 1800 that night.

At the time of the accident the wind was 360 degrees at 10 knots, the visibility was 1 3/4 statute miles in mist, with overcast skies at 500 feet. The temperature and dewpoint were both 48 degrees.

In Memory of Dr. Robert “Bob” Cook

In late September 2017, USCA and the Greater Chicago Schutzhund Club lost Dr. Robert Cook (simply Dr. Bob to most), a cherished member of our IPO family. Dr. Bob started in schutzhund in the early 80’s at OG Wisconsin, but nationally most know him for campaigning Akki vom Haus Ehrenreich IPO3 Kkl1, including placing 5th at the 2011 USA GSD Nationals.

Many competitors would find the time to watch Akki, a many time helper’s favorite dog, but even more would seek out Dr. Bob to chat about the sport he loved and his many passions outside IPO. He was a respected surgeon and businessman, pilot, triathlete, and also competed in field trials with his prize winning English Pointers. His fascinating love of Falconry eventually brought him back to IPO. He flew birds with his good friend Frank Metallo, and eventually reconnected with IPO through Frank’s son Ray Metallo, along with other members of Greater Chicago and O.G. Edgerton’s Rolando Salvador.

Dr. Bob’s passion for learning, training animals, and competition was inspiring and he embraced those with similar dedication and interests. At the WDC in 2012, Dr. Bob was observed sitting alone with a cup of coffee on the wet bleachers of a near empty stadium at 7 a.m. on a Sunday to support and mentor a young Dominic Scarberry with Bo. UCLA’s John Wooden said the true test of a man’s character is what he does when no one is watching. That morning, as always, Dr. Bob was a true sportsman and gentlemen.

I knew Dr. Bob as a friend and fellow competitor – he was instrumental in my campaign to become your President. His words were thoughtful and inspiring and he will be profoundly missed. We send our deepest sympathy to his family, friends, club, associates, and colleagues.

Original article  ➤

Dr. Robert G. (Bob) Cook

By Tiffany Genre 

Life is precious, and can be swept away in a moment’s notice. Unfortunately, Randy and I were reminded of that actuality on Saturday, September 23.

Dr. Robert G. (Bob) Cook, a highly regarded surgeon and respected member of the field trial community, tragically died in a plane crash near Ainsworth, Neb., in an aircraft he was piloting that morning. Dr. Cook was en route to Bottineau, N. D., to pick up his beloved English pointer, Bess, after a summer on the North Dakota prairie training with Randy Anderson. He was 69.

Dr. Cook was just as punctual as he was quick witted, and when his plane failed to arrive in Bottineau at the expected time, Randy grew extremely concerned. We decided it would be a good idea to phone the airport in Nebraska. After several conversations with the airport, the United States Air Force, and other federal agencies, it was determined that an official search and rescue be placed into action.

The Air Force was unable to pin-point a radar signal from the aircraft, so it was determined an accident must have occurred shortly after take-off. Randy received the call around 6 p. m. that evening that the wreckage had been found near Ainsworth.

Dr. Cook received his medical degree from Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine in Chicago. He was a skilled general surgeon and practiced in Kenosha, Wis.

When Dr. Bob had dogs on the major circuit, it was not uncommon for him to fly to the various venues where his dogs were competing.

Randy and I consider the owners of dogs in our string more like family, not clients. We laugh and cry about the woes of field trialing . . . and share in the joy of victories and delight when owners’ dogs are placed in the winners’ circle.

Dr. Cook’s death is a huge blow to all of us.

Dr. Bob was engaged in other outdoor pursuits, notably with falcons at his Ainsworth, Neb., getaway, and with German shepherds in schutzhund competition.

Although Bob had been removed from the field trial sport for the last few years, he was primed to find a “nice young Derby” to renew his spirit for campaigning all-age bird dogs with his friend and trainer, Randy Anderson. Bob owned and campaigned several notable dogs, including: Ch. Prairie-land Pride, Ch. Three Ten to Yuma, Ch. House’s Magic Rain, and Prairieland Kate, just to name a few.

He is survived by his devoted wife, a daughter, a sister and two brothers, countless friends and co-workers.

Original article  ➤

Authorities in Nebraska have released the name of the Kenosha man killed in a small plane crash there over the weekend.

Robert G. Cook was the sole occupant of the plane that crashed near Ainsworth, Neb., Saturday morning, according to the Brown County (Neb.) Sheriff’s Office.

The sheriff’s office said the plane took off from Ainsworth Municipal Airport between 10:15 and 10:25 a.m. Saturday and was reported missing at about 1:34 p.m.

The crash site was located about 6:15 p.m. by a local resident about 5 miles northeast of the airport.

The crash is being investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Authorities say a pilot killed in a northern Nebraska plane crash was from Wisconsin.

Brown County Attorney David Streich has identified the man as 69-year-old Robert Cook. 

He lived in Kenosha, Wisconsin, and also owned land in Brown County.

The plane took off Saturday morning from Ainsworth Regional Airport in Brown County. 

Authorities say the wreckage was found Saturday evening, just a few miles from the airport. 

The crash cause is being investigated.

Cook was alone in the plane.

A Kenosha doctor died in a plane crash in northern Nebraska Saturday.

Dr. Robert Cook, a surgeon, was reportedly the pilot and sole occupant of the plane.

Authorities said the plane took off Saturday morning from Ainsworth Regional Airport in Brown County, heading to North Dakota.

The wreckage was found Saturday evening, just a few miles from the airport.

According to a report in the Norfolk Daily News, David Streich, the Brown County attorney, did not release the victim's name but said he was from Kenosha.

An employee in Cook's office in Kenosha confirmed Monday that he had died in a plane crash in Nebraska.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a 10-seat Mitsubishi MU-2. A search began after it failed to arrive at its North Dakota destination, the Norfolk Daily News reported.

The plane had been en route to North Dakota, and had stopped at the Ainsworth airport to refuel.

According to KBRB radio, the plane took off from Ainsworth between 10:15 and 10:25 a.m., and is believed to have crashed around 10:30 a.m. KBRB reported the plane could not be located on radar, or at any airport along its anticipated route.

The aircraft was reported missing to the Brown County Sheriff's Office at 1:34 p.m., and the crash site was found by a local resident at 6:15 p.m., approximately 2 miles east and 3 miles north of the airport.

Brown County Sheriff Bruce Papstein said attempts were made to coordinate the location of the pilot’s cellular phone, but to no avail.

The crash is being investigated by both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Weather conditions at the time of the crash included a low cloud ceiling, poor visibility and scattered rain; however the cause of the crash has not yet been determined.

Original article can be found here ➤

AINSWORTH — The pilot of a plane that crashed Saturday morning north of Ainsworth died as a result of the accident is believed to be a Kenosha, Wis., resident.

David Streich, the Brown County attorney, said the investigation into the crash site continued Monday morning and authorities had not officially released the identity of the plane’s sole occupant.

“But we are confident in saying that the victim was a Kenosha, Wisconsin, man and not someone from around here,” Streich said.

The 10-seat plane was headed to North Dakota but never made it to its destination, which prompted search efforts to begin Saturday.

At about 7 p.m. Saturday, the crash site was discovered about 5 miles north of the Ainsworth Regional Airport, according to the Brown County Sheriff’s Office. The plane had taken off between 10:15 and 10:30 a.m. Saturday, said Sheriff Bruce Papstein.

Ainsworth Fire Chief Brad Fiala said the crash site was secured until investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration arrived Sunday to begin the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. It is believed to be a long body Mitsubishi MU2.

  2. It is N73MA, an MU-2B-40, aka "Solitaire", a short body MU2. It generally seats 7 (2 pilots plus 5 in back), though 6 adults would be typical. It cannot seat 10 in any configuration, so the news article has some bad info.

  3. Water in jet fuel doesn't affect performance to the same degree it does in avfuel. Water contamination is rarely the cause of a jet fuel burning aircraft.

  4. I can assure you it was a short body MU-2 as I have serviced this very aircraft in the past.

  5. Water, how about another incompetent doctor pilot with more money then pilot skills

  6. This is soon to say. Maybe the plane suffered a loss of power and in bad weather
    (visibility was to low) onboard a MU-2 isn't easy to manage.
    He owned the plane since 2007 so in ten years is assumed that he knew the plane well.

  7. He stopped to refuel before the last leg, have to wonder if they put avgas instead of jet-A in the plane. It will burn avgas for awhile, but the performance will be effected and that may be just enough to distract him, combined with bad weather.

  8. Adolescent comments in aviation run rampant – from student to airline captain. I have never been able to figure out why.

  9. Dr. Cook was a good man and very competent pilot with over 3,000 hrs in type. He will be missed.

  10. With over 3.000 hours in type we could say he was very well prepared. I wonder what happened. Maybe a serious and unpredictable failure.

  11. It does have a 10 seat configuration, 2 seats pilot, co-pilot. Cabin has a bench 2 seats, one captain facing backwards seat and a three set bench. This is a tragic accident. Please be respectful to all mourning his loss. Do not speak ill of someone who cannot defend themselves.

  12. I am the pilot's daughter. I am so thankful for the kind words and love expressed by many. Words cannot express how much my dad is missed and the void his absence has left in my heart.

    To the others - it is easy to sit unidentified at a computer, making offensive, judgmental (and frankly, inaccurate) comments about a man you do not know. I have zero desire to engage your cowardly behavior. However, I do advise you to think carefully about your own loved ones before you write words that hurt the grieving.

    In regard to the article and its update, there are multiple errors. He did not stop to refuel. He was not on the last leg of a journey. And he flew an MU2 for over a decade. I look forward to reading future comments from those who know this airplane and why it may not respond to protocol in a circumstance such as this one.

  13. As a career aviation professional I am deeply sorry for the loss of a fellow aviator. I have heard much discussion concerning the MU2 over the years. Below is a link to an interesting letter from the office of Kansas Senator Sam Brownback from 2005 concerning the MU2 aircraft.

  14. I'm Nicola Laurenzi from Italy and I'm so sorry for this tragic loss and I fully understand the void his absence has left in daughter heart. I did not know this pilot but heard he had over 3.000 hours on type so he knew the plane very well.
    The Mu-2 is a high performance and demanding plane and after the SFAR 108 was approved became one of the safest turboprop on its cathegory.
    Pilots should follow every year a training session (classroom & in flight training) and no other Plane Factory around the world is focuse to offer a similar preparation.
    We don't know the reason of this tragic accident (maybe in the near future) but bad weather, low visibility or a fatal aircraft failure can be a factor.
    From the beginning to these days the FAA analyzed many times the MU-2 but nothing wrong was found.
    Letters from Senators/Politicians who maybe never saw the MU-2 but only heard stories from friends, acquaintances, pilots that maybe never flew it and so on, has in my opinion no credibility.
    The only one credibility is from who really flies or flew it.
    In the '90 I travelled all over Europe on a Solitaire and I can assure you the plane is absolutely safe if flown by the numbers.
    To conclude I think that after 3.000 MU-2 flight hours Mr. Cook knew the plane perfectly and before
    saying he did wrong you have to wait for the outcome of the investigation.

  15. I have 10000 hours in this model MU2. We all train every year flying all the SFAR 108 profiles. I can assure you that a Solitaire with just a pilot on board will fly just fine on one engine IF the pilot flies the profile. Regardless of the cause, maybe an incapacitated pilot for whatever reason, maybe radar failed and flew through a thunderstorm, maybe pilot got vertigo, maybe plane flew into a flock of birds, maybe he forgot the flaps, maybe he forgot the condition levers, maybe maybe maybe will always be the planes fault. I have flown in severe turbulence, had engine failure and numerous elective engine shutdowns in training. No other aircraft has undergone the scrutiny that the MU2 has...To his daughter, my sincere condolences in your time of grief. Wait for the professionals to analyze what happened and why. Your dad did the same training as I, he knew it was a great airplane and wouldn't have owned it if it were unsafe. God bless you

  16. First and foremost, I am truly sorry for the friends and family of anyone lost in an accident. My Brother and his fiancee we lost in a GA aircraft crash 20 years ago and it fueled my passion in the aviation industry, especially with safety. I work for an avionics/autopilot company. We have looked at certifying an autopilot for the MU-2 in the past and again recently. I understand that flying single pilot IFR requires an autopilot system. From my viewpoint, we are always looking at a few things, sustaining our business (making money) is obvious. But we are always looking at how we can improve safety and reduce pilot workload. While the safety record of the MU-2 has dramatically improved since SFAR 108, it is and will continue to be under the microscope due to it's previous safety record. I also understand that much of the issue in the past was the pilots error in emergency and unusual circumstances. Again, this is a space where we believe we can help prevent future accidents to some degree. If anyone has any knowledge that would be beneficial, please hit me up.

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