UND student crashes plane he was piloting and dies

·2 min read

A University of North Dakota student pilot died when he crashed a small plane into a field south of Grand Forks, an incident that brought the school's flight training activities to a halt Tuesday.

The wreckage was located about 8:15 p.m. Monday southeast of Buxton near NE. 11th Street and 165th Avenue, according to the State Highway Patrol and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

The FAA said the pilot was the only person aboard the single-engine Piper PA-28.

UND President Andy Armacost identified the student as John Hauser, 19, a sophomore majoring in Commercial Aviation from Chicago.

Emergency responders declared Hauser dead at the scene, a rural swath about 28 miles from Grand Forks and roughly 6 miles west of North Dakota's border with Minnesota.

Authorities have yet to disclose what led to the plane going down as it was flying from Grand Forks International Airport to Hector International Airport in Fargo, the FAA said.

UND flight instructor Andrew Fox told the Star Tribune that he met Hauser at the Grand Forks airport and "signed him off that night for a solo flight. He was building [training] time."

Fox said Hauser, who was a licensed pilot, was going to arrive at the Fargo airport, "do a couple landings and come back to Grand Forks."

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are among the agencies investigating the crash.

Robert Kraus, dean of UND's John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences, announced Tuesday morning, "I am placing all UND aerospace flight training activities ... at Grand Forks on a safety stand down for Tuesday."

Kraus added that "out of respect for the family, we stress that you should not speculate about this event, and let the investigation takes its course."

In October 2007, a UND plane collided with geese near Little Falls, Minn., and crashed while on a training flight from St. Paul to Grand Forks. Student Adam Ostapenko, 20, of Duluth, and 22-year-old instructor Annette Klosterman, of Seattle, died when the twin-engine Piper Seminole went down in a swampy area.

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