Sun Country pilot and friend killed in Sauk Rapids crash - KMSP-TV

Sun Country pilot and friend killed in Sauk Rapids crash

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Sunday saw a quiet evening at St. Cloud Regional Airport, which is where 60-year-old Scott Olson stored his Brumwell RV-6 experimental airplane before it crashed into a home in Sauk Rapids, Minn.

"He was always here for everybody, and they're an awesome family," friend Bob Campbell told Fox 9 News. "I just feel sorry for everybody involved."

Family and friends are mourning the loss of a married father of 3 children who was also an experienced pilot for Sun Country airlines.

"You would never think of that happening to Scott," Campbell said. "He was meticulous at everything."

Investigators say that before the crash on Friday evening, Olson was sightseeing and taking photographs with a friend in his personal single-engine plane. Peter Knudson, with the National Transportation Safety Board, confirmed that witnesses saw Olson flying near an Allegiant Airlines plane coming from Arizona. That flight eventually landed at St. Cloud Regional Airport, but investigators are considering the possibility that Olson's plane may have been caught in the larger airliner's wake turbulence.

"Our investigator will be reviewing the radar as well as the air traffic control communications," Knudson assured. "When a plane flies through the air, it creates almost like a little tornado coming off those wing tips, but it's horizontal. So, instead of going up and down, it's side-to-side and trails the plane."

Andrea Pocklington lives in nearby Sartell, and she saw it all happen.

"The way that they were flying, it almost looked like if they kept going, they would have met," she said. "Then, the big plane turned to the right and the little plane turned towards the left and seemed to make a U-turn."

Olson eventually crashed into a home on the 700 block of Garden Place in Sauk Rapids. Somehow, Kole Heckendorf was able to survive the impact and jumped to safety from a second floor window. His brother-in-law, Jeff Hille, was not home at the time. Even so, he says his thoughts are now with the pilot and his passenger.

"Not too much to feel sorry for when you look at the pilot and whoever else was on the plane," Hille said.

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