Publish date:

NTSB: 3 killed in Victoria plane crash; portion of tail fell off

All three people onboard the single-engine plane died in the fiery crash.
Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 3.09.20 PM

Just under 24 hours after a single-engine plane crashed into a yard and then slammed into a house near downtown Victoria, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) says portions of the aircraft's tail likely fell off just before the deadly crash. 

The NTSB on Sunday confirmed that three people onboard the plane died in the crash, which happened at approximately 5:40 p.m. at a residence located at 7956 Rose Street in the west metro suburb. 

The victims have been identified by the Star Tribune as: 

  • James Edney, of Omaha, Nebraska
  • Jacob Mertes, 42, of Libby, Montana
  • Sara Mertes, 37, of Libby, Montana

Edney was listed as a general surgeon at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. According to her Facebook page, Sara Mertes was a physician at Cabinet Peaks Medical Center in Libby, while her husband Jacob worked for their county's health department, the Star Tribune reports

Authorities have not yet confirmed the Star Tribune's report. 

"The pilot contacted the control tower then made several heading changes and altitude deviations from a normal stable flight path. The last transmission was about 10 miles from the airport and radar contact was lost at about 5:40 p.m.," an NTSB spokesperson said during a Sunday news conference. 

Debris from the tail of the plane – portions of the left elevator and portions of the left horizontal stabilizer – were found "about two blocks" from the crash site. 

"That would definitely indicate that those fell off while in flight," the spokesperson said. "Without an elevator and a horizontal stabilizer the aircraft does not fly well." 

The NTSB will file a preliminary report in about two weeks, before a full report is released sometime in the next 12-18 months. 

"Our only purpose here is to try to prevent another tragedy," an NTSB spokesperson said during a Sunday news conference. "We try to fill in the blanks to assess anything that could help prevent another tragedy." 

A family was inside the house when the plane crashed and burst into flames, but none of the residents were injured. 

The aircraft that crashed was a single-engine Mooney M20 that seats up to four people. The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane was flying from Alexandria Municipal Airport to Eden Prairie’s Flying Cloud Airport before 6 p.m. when it went down.

Next Up

Pexels - beer outside patio brewery

Brewery, taproom moving into former Twin Cities newspaper space

Loons Landing officially signed the lease this week.

Vic Richfield auto theft PD - rectangle crop

Police: Car with dog inside stolen from outside Twin Cities liquor store

They're asking people to be on the lookout for the vehicle.

John Hofer - Chisago County Sheriff's Office

Murder charge filed over inmate's death at Chisago Co. Jail

The man suddenly became unresponsive and died while in a holding cell.

reproductive rights caucus

Minnesota DFL lawmakers form Reproductive Freedom Caucus

The move comes as some Republicans explore proposals to limit abortion access.

Flickr - child wearing mask close up - Nenad Stojkovic

Counties without K-12 mask mandate see sharper rise in child COVID cases

That's according to a new study released Friday by the CDC.

Police lights

Bloomington woman dies in crash on southwest Twin Cities highway

The collision happened just south of the Minnesota Renaissance Festival grounds.

Wikimedia Commons - COVID vaccine, pfizer, shot - Martin G

Pfizer booster shots immediately available for select Minnesotans

118 fully vaccinated Minnesotans have died from COVID-19.

Gisela Medina Sherburne County Jail - 2021.09.23 - crop 2

19-year-old charged alongside Anton Lazzaro pleads not guilty

She's accused of helping the GOP operative traffic underage girls.

Dalvin Cook

Dalvin Cook misses Vikings practice on Friday

Cook suffered an ankle injury during the Cardinals game.

GetMedia (1)

Gallery: Historic church renovated into home is yours for $248,000

The church-turned-home offers an open floor plan in the heart of Howard Lake.

Rep. Glenn Gruenhagen  - YouTube screengrab

MN GOP Rep. spreads voted fraud disinformation, draws rebuke from SoS

The lawmaker cited a video claiming there are more than 1.2 million "missing" votes.


Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 3.09.20 PM

NTSB report reveals new details about fatal plane crash in Victoria

The pilot reportedly acknowledged a low altitude alert shortly before the crash.

Screen Shot 2021-08-08 at 9.09.49 AM

Surveillance video shows moment of impact in deadly Victoria plane crash

There are confirmed fatalities, according to the sheriff's office.

Screen Shot 2021-03-18 at 1.29.21 PM

Former MN businessman dies in plane that crashed into SUV in Florida

Three people, including a 4-year-old boy in the SUV, were killed in the plane crash.

plane, Piper PA-32

Pilot killed in small plane crash in southwestern Minnesota

The crash happened just after 7 a.m. Sunday.

Grey Cloud Island

2 victims of plane crash identified; body of 3rd victim recovered

The plane was last seen on radar Sunday before it crashed.


Suburban Twin Cities man killed in plane crash in northern MN

The crash happened shortly after takeoff from the Ely Airport.