Sunday, December 06, 2020

Piper PA-32R-301T Turbo Saratoga SP, N8178Y: Fatal accident occurred December 06, 2020 near Windom Municipal Airport (KMWM), Cottonwood County, Minnesota

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.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Minneapolis, Minnesota

Location: Windom, MN 
Accident Number: CEN21LA075
Date & Time: December 6, 2020, 06:25 Local 
Registration: N8178Y
Aircraft: Piper PA32 
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On December 6, 2020, about 0625 central standard time, a Piper PA32 airplane, N8178Y, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Windom, Minnesota. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

According to airport video and preliminary air traffic control (ATC) radar data, the airplane departed at 0621 from Runway 35 at Windom Municipal Airport (MWM) on an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan, but the pilot did not initiate radio contact with ATC. The airplane made several turns with large heading changes about 2 miles north of MWM starting at 0623:24. The last ATC radar data was recorded at 0625:12 near the accident site.

The airplane impacted a plowed field on an easterly heading about 2.5 miles from the end of Runway 35 and slightly west of the extended runway centerline. The initial impact point included portions of the right-wing position light and the debris path was about 220 ft long, with the airplane highly fragmented. 

The airplane will be further examined at the recovery location.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Piper 
Registration: N8178Y
Model/Series: PA32 301T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: IMC
Condition of Light: Night
Observation Facility, Elevation: KMWM,1410 ft msl 
Observation Time: 06:21 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: -1°C /-2°C
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 6 knots / , 350°
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 400 ft AGL 
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.14 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: IFR
Departure Point: Windom, MN (MWM) 
Destination: McMinnville, TN (RNC)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries:
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 43.95639,-95.11833 (est)

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

Scott William Fredin

Scott William Fredin was born on October 14, 1964, in Windom, Minnesota to the late Merlin Eugene and AnnaMarie (Anderson) Fredin. He was baptized in Windom and later confirmed at the American Lutheran Church in Windom. Scott received his education in the Windom Public Schools, graduating from Windom High School in the Class of 1983. After high school, Scott moved to the Cities for a few years of work before returning to Windom in 1986 to start working with Wilder Farms. Scott then joined Fredin Brothers, a place he’s called his second home for 32 years. Scott proved to be an integral part of the business, his genuine nature allowing him to naturally transform business relationships into friendships across the country. Scott & his Brother Jeff started J & S Grazing, a Feeder Cattle operation at the family ranch, until recently embracing the next generation when Austin and Scott started their father/son venture in Heritage Hills Cattle Growers.

On June 24 ,2000, Scott was united in marriage to Lisa Bergendahl. Lisa joined Scott on the Family Ranch, where they raised Feeder cattle, horses & the kids. Scott loved boating and spending weekends at their lake getaway on Lake Minnewaska. Away from the office at the lake, Scott also enjoyed making new friends, sometimes surprising Lisa with unannounced guests. They would often host grill-outs, bonfires, and good times at the family farm. Those who’ve spent time with Scott would recognize the phrase “I just wanna have fun, dammit”. The grandkids quickly figured out Grandpa’s good nature and he cherished the time they spent together.

Scott was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Windom and a member of the City of Windom’s Airport Commission. He will be remembered as a gentle, carefree, driven (stubborn), family man who loved politics-especially Trump rallies. You could normally find him sitting beside a fire, smoking a cigar & sipping whiskey, or at a Hockey game watching Austin - he loved watching his boy play. Scott’s true passion in life was flying, often going to hockey games, Vikings games & offering rides to friends and family. Scott’s other passion was Cattle, he was a true Cattleman.

At the young age of 20, Scott began his journey toward earning his pilots license. He quickly achieved this goal and purchased his first plane shortly thereafter. This took him on many adventures across the country with family and friends. There wasn’t one flight that went without meticulous planning and consideration. On Sunday morning, December 6, 2020, Scott was called home, doing what he loved at the age of 56 years.

Scott is survived by his wife, Lisa; three children, Tanner (Abby Lund) Jenkins of Minneapolis; Jessica (Jay) Keller of Rochester; Austin (Heather Bratrud) Fredin of Windom; three grandchildren, Paxton, Weston, and Griffin Keller, two brothers, Curt (Linda) Fredin of Springfield; Jeff (Betty) Fredin of Windom; sister-in-law, Kathy Fredin of Alexandria; brother-in-law, Denny Geffre of Mound; two brothers-in-law, Jeff Bergendahl of Windom; Doug (Heidi) Bergendahl of Windom; and many nieces, nephews and friends.

Scott is preceded in death by his parents; brother, Wayne Fredin; sister, Brenda Geffre; nephew, Jason Fredin; and father-in-law and mother-in-law, Lyle and Bonnie Bergendahl.

Blessed be the memory of Scott W. Fredin.

A PRIVATE, FAMILY Celebration of Life Service for Scott Fredin, age 56 of Windom will be held on Friday, December 11th, at the American Lutheran Church in Windom with Reverend Pam Prouty officiating. Burial will take place at the Lakeview Cemetery in Windom.

A PUBLIC Visitation will be held on Thursday, December 10th from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM at the LaCanne Family Funeral Home in Windom.

A memorial fund has been setup in Scott’s name at Bank Midwest in Windom.

Masks are required to attend the visitation on Thursday evening.

The Celebration of Life Service will be live streamed on the "American Lutheran Church Windom" Facebook Page on Friday.

Family identified the pilot killed in a Sunday morning plane crash in southwestern Minnesota as 56-year-old Scott William Fredin.

Jeff Fredin said he last spoke to his brother around noon Saturday. Scott Fredin was on his way to Tennessee for business early Sunday when his plane crashed just north of the Windom Municipal Airport.

“Everything was good,” Jeff Fredin said in an interview Monday, adding that his brother sent a text message to a friend at 6:15 a.m., shortly before a scheduled 6:21 a.m. takeoff.

The family owns and operates Fredin Brothers, a cattle company based in Springfield, Minnesota and founded by brothers Jeff and Curt Fredin with their late father in 1976. Scott Fredin was the company pilot flying to Knoxville, Tennessee on Sunday morning.

“He was going down there to look at cattle,” Jeff Fredin said. “Our business wasn’t here in Minnesota, it was all over the country.”

The Windom airport notified the Cottonwood County Sheriff’s Office at 7:05 a.m. that it lost contact with the plane. About 40 minutes later, the crash site was located about 2 1/2 miles north of the airport, according to Heather Janssen with the sheriff’s office.

Scott Fredin was “not in the air for more than a minute,” Jeff Fredin said, adding it was foggy that morning and he wasn’t aware of his brother having any medical issues that may have interfered with his ability to fly.

The loss is a blow to brothers Jeff and Curt Fredin, who have lost three siblings in less than two years.

“There was five of us at one time, we’re now down to two,” Jeff Fredin said. In March 2019, brother Wayne Fredin and sister Brenda Fredin Geffre both died unexpectedly.

“That’s life,” Jeff Fredin said. “You just never know.”

Funeral arrangements for Scott Fredin are pending.

‘Not the day to be flying’

Scott Fredin was issued a pilot certificate in 2004. In July 2020, he applied for a medical class certificate, which is typically issued for two years. But Fredin only received a one-year certificate.

Scott Fredin’s last flight registered on the aviation website FlightAware was November 19th, when he flew to Iowa for his annual plane inspection, Jeff Fredin said. Sunday’s flight was not registered on Flight Aware; Cameron Johnson, who works as a pilot for Fredin Brothers, said it doesn’t appear online because the plane wasn’t in the air long enough to activate the site.

Johnson said visibility was low Sunday morning and “personal limits” factor into decisions about whether to fly, but Scott Fredin didn’t break any FAA rules.

The crash remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board. Spokesman Eric Weiss said a preliminary report would be available in the next two weeks.

The cause of death remains under investigation at the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office.


  1. 43.87 °N, 95.12 °W
    WINDOM MUNI STATION, Great Bend Township, MN
    Weather History
    6:42AM 28 F 28 F 100 % N 8 mph 0 mph 28.70 in 0.0 in Cloudy

    1. KMWM WINDOM MUNI STATION, Great Bend Township, MN
      Astronomy Day Length Rise Set
      Actual Time 9h 2m 7:41 AM 4:44 PM
      Civil Twilight 7:09 AM 5:17 PM
      Nautical Twilight 6:33 AM 5:53 PM
      Astronomical Twilight 5:58 AM 6:28 PM
      Moon: waning gibbous 10:54 PM

  2. Possible LOC in IMC?
    Ambient Temp=Dewpoint, with 100%Rh.
    Overcast, fog/light mist reported nearby at KMJQ via AWOS.

    Weather archive from KMJQ (17 nm S of KMWM):

  3. I will jump on the icing bandwagon. My guess he was hoping he could shoot up through the fog quick enough to avoid icing.

  4. That would be very rapid icing if he was not already contaminated before takeoff. Reporting says the crash site is about 2 1/2 miles north of the airport. If he climbed out at 80 knots, the time available for icing in 2.5 miles is less than two minutes.

    2.5 statute miles = 13,200 feet to travel.
    80 knots x 6076 ft/nmile = 486,080 ft/hour
    486,080 ft/hour = 8,101 ft/minute
    13,200 feet to travel divided by 8,101 ft/min = 1.63 min (98 seconds).

  5. devloping ice could have been the distraction ..
    "Statistically, it is more likely for the pilot to have a lapse or become distracted at a critical time. These are normal human failings and early climb is the place to be on guard. Nothing else matters but keeping the wings level and a positive climb flight attitude. Spatial disorientation is always a possibility for a variety of reasons, anything that takes away from gaining critical altitude is irrelevant."

  6. "FlightAware and ADS-B. In addition to receiving over 45 different government air traffic control and private datalink sources, FlightAware operates a worldwide network of ADS-B and Mode S receivers that track ADS-B or Mode S equipped aircraft flying around the globe. ADS-B equipped aircraft emit their exact position and Mode S aircraft can be tracked via multilateration (MLAT) when the signal is received by three or more receivers. FlightAware owns and operates these receivers at hundreds of airports around the world in conjunction with airport operators. FlightAware designs and manufactures FlightFeeder, a network ADS-B receiver that receives ADS-B data and feeds the data to FlightAware's servers over any available Internet connection.
    We also invite customers and professional users to connect to FlightAware's network and feed additional ADS-B data from their receivers using the methods described below. ADS-B data contributed is made available on FlightAware's free web site and mobile apps.
    This map shows all active ADS-B sites as well as the average high-altitude coverage (200mi / 320km)."

    Many variables (e.g. antenna/receiver quality, installation factors, obstructions, etc.) impact the actual coverage. This map includes both FlightAware facilities as well as data submitted by feeder sites. For security and privacy reasons, the depicted positions of the sites are not exact. For more information on specific sites and the amount of data received, view FlightAware's ADS-B statistics including statistics by country and region.

    1. Great bear, I was wondering if you work for Flight Aware?

    2. I'm thinking they work for the FAA or NTSB ... ???

  7. Since the aircraft took off at 6:20am in the morning, the question is this: Was the aircraft kept in a hangar overnight? The was lots of freezing moisture in the area during the night.