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Pilot error cited in fatal 2013 plane crash

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HAWLEY, Minn. – An airplane crash last March near Hawley was the fault of the 48-year-old pilot it killed, according to federal investigators.

Kevin Ferris, a Minnesota State University Moorhead graduate who owned a flower shop in Duluth, shouldn’t have flown in foggy conditions because he wasn’t qualified to fly in weather that required the use of instruments, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found.

The full results of the investigation were released Monday.

NTSB investigators said Ferris knew it was foggy in the Hawley area, and his mother had even talked to him during the flight and asked him to land at a different airport.

The single-engine, two-seat Cessna he was flying was found about 15 miles east of the Hawley airport. Investigators said it appeared to have crashed at a high speed with the right wing low, indicating a loss of control of the aircraft.

The investigation found no mechanical problems with the plane.

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