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St. Paul man killed in plane crash was 'on an exploration of Hawaii'

The Air Force veteran vacationing from his work on a federal research ship in Alaska.

An online fundraiser for the family of a St. Paul man killed in a Hawaii plane crash says Nikolas Glebov was readying to return to work after a month-long vacation exploring the island state. 

"I am not on a vacation in Hawaii, I am on an exploration of Hawaii," Glebov is quoted as saying in a GoFundMe organized to help family pay for memorial expenses. 

Glebov, 28, was one of 11 people killed when the skydiving plane crashed Friday. The small plane went down shortly after takeoff from Dillingham Airfield on O'ahu, with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating to find out what caused the plane to lose control. 

The GoFundMe for Glebov's family says he was in Hawaii on his final day of vacation before he was scheduled to return to work on a federal research ship in Alaska, where he was working for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). 

"Nick (Kolya) was always adventurous, and reminded others to be so, and to be curious and appreciate the beauty of life. He was most at peace in nature-exploring the unknown, exploring every facet of life," the fundraiser explains. "There are countless examples of his curiosity- from his long distance ventures on his bicycle, to him serving 4 years in the air force, and joining a federal research ship in Alaska."

The fundraiser notes that Glebov's "mother asked him not to go skydiving on little planes, but he had his dream." 

Weeks earlier, he mentioned to his mother several things he might do while in Hawaii. His mother asked him not to go skydiving on little planes, but he had his dream. He said to her, "I am not on a vacation in Hawaii, I am on an exploration of Hawaii." 

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser, it's believed that the plane flipped and burned after taking off. The same plane was involved in a mid-air incident in Northern California in 2016, with CBS News reporting that it was caught on video spinning out of control, forcing 14 skydivers to jump out early. 

As of Tuesday evening, the online fundraiser had generated $350 of a $2,500 goal. 

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