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4 die when small plane crashes at Faribault airport

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Bemidji,Minnesota 56619
Bemidji Pioneer
4 die when small plane crashes at Faribault airport
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

FARIBAULT, Minn. (AP) -- A small airplane was making its second attempt to land at a small airport when it turned upside down and crashed, killing all four people on board, authorities said Monday.


Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Elizabeth Isham Cory said the airplane had left Aberdeen, S.D., Sunday bound for Faribault, where it crashed.

Investigators were attempting to find out why it was making a second try to land at the Faribault Municipal Airport and what made it crash instead, she said.

The four-seat plane burst into flames and scattered debris across the airfield when it crashed just off the runway.

The plane was piloted by Dr. Chester W.P. Mayo, according to a news release from Mayo's practice, Orthopedic Surgery Specialists in Aberdeen, S.D. Mayo's son, Chester Mayo Jr., was also killed. The release did not include the names of the other two people on board.

The Cirrus SR22 plane was registered to Mayo Aviation of Aberdeen. Mayo Aviation has the same street address as Orthopedic Surgery Specialists. A message left for the chief executive of the medical practice was not returned Monday.

The Post-Bulletin of Rochester reported on its Web site that Chester W.P. Mayo was a descendent of the Mayo brothers who formed the famed Mayo Clinic in Rochester four generations ago.

The newspaper's archives showed Chester W.P. Mayo grew up in Rochester in the Mayo family mansion, called Mayowood. He did his orthopedic surgical residency at Mayo Clinic after earning his medical degree at the University of Minnesota.

Cory said FAA investigators arrived on the scene late Sunday. The National Transportation Safety Board's own investigator arrived Monday morning, said a spokeswoman for that agency.

"There's very little left," Faribault Police Chief Dan Collins said Sunday. Wind was gusting above 20 mph, but it hadn't been determined if that contributed to the crash, he said.

There was no phone listing for a Mayo Aviation in Aberdeen. The Mayo Clinic in Rochester said it was not related to the famed hospital. A person answering the phone at a Colorado-based company called Mayo Aviation said it also had no connection to the South Dakota company.

A spokesman for the plane's manufacturer, Cirrus Design Corp. of Duluth, declined to comment while the investigation continues. Since 2002, the SR22 has been involved in 17 accidents resulting in 35 deaths, according to the NTSB.

Faribault is a town of 21,000 some 50 miles south of Minneapolis.

Pioneer staff reports