The National Transportation Safety Board this week concluded its investigation into the disappearance of Michael Bratlie, 67, who left South St. Paul’s Fleming Field in June 2012 on a flight to Duluth and back to break in a new engine.
He was never heard from again and no wreckage of his Piper Navajo airplane was ever found. The NTSB report said the agency has been able to find no clue about the disappearance.
The search focused on the Silver Bay area and Lake Superior, where the former Northwest Airlines pilot was last detected by radar.
The Civil Air Patrol spent more than 600 hours of flight time in the search and finally gave up.
Bob Collins has been with Minnesota Public Radio since 1992, emigrating to Minnesota from Massachusetts. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started several blogs, and every day laments that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.
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