VICTORIA, Minn. (FOX 9) - The preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board says no distress call was made from the pilot before the fatal plane crash in Victoria earlier this month.
On Aug. 7, a Mooney M20M single-engine plane took off from the Alexandria Municipal Airport and was set to land at Flying Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie when it went down at 5:40 p.m. and crashed into a vacant lot and home along Highway 5. All three occupants of the plane were killed.
According to the NTSB report, several witnesses heard loud popping noises and saw the plane rapidly descending with both wings "folded up." Review of the security video near the accident site showed the plane was upright when it hit the ground. Both wings were found separated from the fuselage.
The plane caught fire upon impact, the report says. Debris was found in two spots: at the initial crash site along Highway 5 near Rose Street and about 720 to 800 feet southwest of the crash site.
The NTSB also noted that so far, no operator’s certification has been identified. An agency spokesperson emphasized this is just a preliminary report and information is subject to change as the investigation continues.
The victims have been identified as Dr. James Edney, Dr. Sara Mertes and her husband Jake Mertes.
Investigators say the final report on the crash will take between a year to 18 months to be completed.