“We’ll call you when we get down.”
Those were the last words between a pilot and air traffic control shortly before a plane crash near Dayton Beach, Fla., that claimed the lives of two west-central Minnesota residents on Tuesday night.
Businesswoman Deb Solsrud, said to be active in the New London-Spicer School District, was killed in the crash along with the pilot, believed to be Daryl Ingalsbe, of Spicer, the president and CEO of a technology company, the West Central Tribune reports.
Witnesses said the plane emerged from fog inverted as it tried to land at the Spruce Creek Airport, a private airstrip community where Ingalsbe also had a home.
Typically, such a report suggests a pilot who got confused in the clouds, but Ingalsbe was an experienced pilot in instrument conditions, and the final few minutes of the communications with Daytona air traffic control showed no evidence of distress. In the following communication, the flight is identied as “Nine-Whiskey-Romeo.”
The plane apparently crashed after Ingalsbe had been told to change his frequency to an unmonitored channel at the airport, where there is no control tower, and given a phone number to call upon landing to confirm his arrival. The pilot had already tried to land once in the fog and had aborted the attempt when he was just 200 feet from touchdown.
Ingalsbe and Solsrud were no neophytes in aviation. In July, they flew their airplane in a caravan around the world in 21 days, the West Central Tribune said.