Cause of plane crash that killed exchange student, pilot last year unknown


Investigators have drawn a blank on what caused a plane to crash into a home in Sauk Rapids last year, killing two people.

Pilot Scott A. Olson and 16-year-old German foreign exchange student Alexander Voigt, who was a passenger in the Brumwell RV-6 plane, died after it crashed into the property at 731 Garden Place on June 20.

And the St. Cloud Times reports that federal investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board (NSTB) have been unable to definitively say what caused the crash.

A report by the NSTB, uploaded by the newspaper, suggests that a possible cause could have been the cockpit canopy opening mid-flight, causing the plane to "wobble back and forth" and leading to a nose dive, but the plane was too badly damaged by the crash for the canopy to be properly tested.

However, a previous incident with the plane saw the canopy open in August 2013 on descent into St. Cloud Regional Airport, the report notes.

According to the Associated Press, investigators could also not determine whether the plane was affected by turbulence created by the wake of an Allegiant Air flight, which was in the area at the time.

The St. Cloud Times notes that the Allegiant flight was about 1,300 feet about Olson's plane five minutes before the crash, and in the last transmission from Olson to the Allegiant plane, he said he "had a camera out we're gonna take a picture of ya."

Voigt was being hosted by St. Cloud Mayor Dave Kleis while he spent his junior year at Technical High School in St. Cloud, and was scheduled to fly home shortly before the crash.

He was taken on the flight by Olson, a Sun Country Airlines pilot, so he could get some aerial pictures before he returned home.

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