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UPDATE 12:45 P.M. THURSDAY: Pilot identified in fatal plane crash near Parkers Prairie

A small plane ended up in some trees about five miles north of Parkers Prairie Wednesday. (Echo Press photo by Lowell Anderson)1 / 2
Debris from the plane was strewn over a large area of Gayle Snook's property north of Parkers Prairie, including the propeller (left). (Echo Press photo by Lowell Anderson)2 / 2

The pilot who was killed in a small plane crash in rural Parkers Prairie on Wednesday night has been identified as 41-year-old Adam Menze of Ottertail. He was alone in the plane.

Gayle Snook, who lives at 59196 County Highway 40 north of Parkers Prairie, reported the crash to the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office at about 6:30 p.m. after hearing a loud noise and finding some debris in his driveway.

He later located the badly damaged aircraft on his property, which is located about five miles north of Parkers Prairie.

The aircraft was a small, single-engine propeller plane.

Menze suffered extensive trauma and didn't survive the impact, according to the sheriff's office.

The plane is believed to have crashed near a group of trees, and there was no fire associated with the crash, according to Tony Molinaro with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Great Lakes Region, which is based in Chicago.

Brad Hopkins, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Grand Forks, said weather was likely not a factor in the crash.

"Conditions were pretty good. There was no wind; visibility was unrestricted," Hopkins said. "Basically just some high clouds - nothing that would restrict any visibility for the pilot."

The temperature was around 12 degrees.

The incident remains under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

Others responding to the scene included the Parkers Prairie Fire Department, Parkers Prairie Ambulance Service, Minnesota State Patrol, Henning Police Department and the Parkers Prairie Police Department.

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Forum Reporter Wendy Reuer contributed to this story.

Al Edenloff
Al Edenloff is the news and opinion page editor for the Echo Press. He was born in Alexandria and lived most of his childhood in Parkers Prairie. He graduated with honors from Moorhead State University with a degree in mass communications, print journalism. He interned at the Echo Press in the summer of 1983 and was hired a year later as a sports reporter. He also worked as a news reporter/photographer. Al is a four-time winner of the Minnesota Newspaper Association's Herman Roe Award, which honors excellence in editorial writing.  
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