Pilot killed in crash of small plane in South Dakota

The pilot originally departed from Everett, but he was diverted to Sioux Falls because of thunderstorms.

Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — The pilot of a small cargo plane was killed when the aircraft crashed during takeoff in Sioux Falls.

He was the only one on board when the twin-engine Mitsubishi went down about 4 a.m. Sunday at the Sioux Falls Regional Airport, according to officials.

The airport’s executive director, Dan Letellier, said the plane had some sort of problem and crashed midfield, or about a half mile from where he took off.

The pilot originally departed from Everett, Washington to transfer cargo to Huron, but he was diverted to Sioux Falls around 1:40 a.m. because of thunderstorms in the Huron area, the Argus Leader reported. The pilot was taking off to resume his flight to Huron.

The airport’s tower is not in operation from 12 a.m. to 5 a.m., but the Minneapolis flight center was communicating with pilots coming in and out of Sioux Falls, Letellier said.

An investigator with the Federal Aviation Administration is collecting evidence for a preliminary investigation of the crash, said Peter Knudson, a spokesman with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The NTSB is investigating the crash and plans to release a preliminary report within the next two weeks.

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