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3 relatives headed to Colorado when small plane crashes in Minnesota

GLENCOE, Minn. (AP) — Three family members killed in a plane crash in central Minnesota were headed to Colorado to visit a relative and watch a high school play, according to a sibling of one of the victims.

Stuart Dahlberg, his wife Ivelisse Morillo, and his mother, Mae Dahlberg, all of Minnesota, died when their single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza went down in a farm field in McLeod County on Wednesday morning, David Dahlberg said. The three were on their way to visit his sister and watch her direct a play this weekend, he added.

David Dahlberg said his 52-year-old brother was piloting the 1947 single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed in a farm field in McLeod County near Glencoe about 11 a.m.

"My brother is a careful guy when it comes to flying," he told the Star Tribune ( ). He said his brother owned the four-seat plane. Three family dogs were also killed in the crash.

Dahlberg' said his 76-year-old mother, who lived in St. Cloud, was a classical pianist and longtime piano teacher. She and her husband, Stuart, farmed in North Dakota where she would prepare four meals a day for farm hands and teach her children piano, he said.

Stuart Dahlberg was a computer programming consultant, was once an avid motorcycle rider, a master scuba diver, certified ski patrol member and flew airplanes for the past several years, his brother said. He said his brother had survived several near-misses in his life, including a fall at a construction site as a boy and totaling motorcycles as an adult.

Federal Aviation Administration investigators combed through debris from the plane scattered over a 250-yard swath of land.

Misty weather is among the factors investigators will consider, said Jennifer Rodi, a senior safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board. Clouds were low and overcast at 900 feet, there was misty drizzle, and visibility was reduced at the time of the crash, the Star Tribune reported.

Rodi, who arrived at the scene Thursday morning, said investigators will also consider pilot Stuart Dahlberg's experience flying "in marginal weather," as well as results of standard medical and toxicology tests.

Matt Odenbrett was feeding calves on his farm about 3 miles away and thinks he heard the plane's engine misfiring. He wondered if the pilot was trying to land when the plane went down.

"It sounded like 50 pileups at once ... it was a great big bang," Odenbrett said. The FAA continued its onsite investigation Thursday.


Information from: Star Tribune,

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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