NTSB: Duluth pilot in crash wasn't instrument rated
Duluth pilot Kevin Ferris lacked the instrument rating recommended for the weather conditions that were forecasted for and existing at his destination of Moorhead, Minn., when he was killed in a plane crash March 29.
“Instrument meteorological conditions were forecast before the flight originated and were present throughout the day for the destination airport,” the preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board said.
According to the report, Ferris was not instrument rated. It was foggy when the Cessna 152 Ferris was flying from Superior to Moorhead crashed in a farm field approximately 18 miles east of Moorhead. An examination of the wreckage found no sign of mechanical problems that would explain the crash.
It could be a year before the NTSB releases its final report on the crash.
The 48-year-old Ferris received his private pilot certificate with an airplane single-engine land rating in November 2012. He had logged about 63.6 hours of flight time as of his last logged flight on Feb. 24.
Ferris, known in Duluth newspaper ads as “The Rose Man,” departed Superior’s Richard I.
Bong airport for Moorhead Municipal Airport around 9 a.m. to visit family for Easter.
Searchers began looking for him after he was reported overdue around 12:30 p.m. Fog hindered the search, and it was several hours before searchers in a plane spotted the wreckage.
According to the NTSB, “The airplane sustained substantial damage to the fuselage, wings, and empennage (tail assembly).”
The plane’s fuselage was found upright near the end of 267-foot-long path of wreckage. The plane’s flaps were in the retracted position. The propeller was separated from the propeller hub and exhibited twisting and leading edge damage consistent with what would happen if it was turning under power when it hit the ground.
The path of the wreckage indicates the plane was heading roughly northeast when it crashed.