Posted at: 06/19/2013 5:46 PM
Updated at: 06/19/2013 10:46 PM
(ABC 6 NEWS) -- A pilot was killed Wednesday when the helicopter he was flying to spray for mosquitoes crashed into the backyard of a suburban St. Paul home.
At an afternoon news conference, authorities identified the pilot as 44-year-old Michael Kramer.
Kramer was one of 13 children and was born in Rochester. He grew up in St. Charles and lived there with his wife and two kids. We talked with his brother just a short time ago who told us Michael had been a pilot for about a decade.
The crash happened shortly after 8 o’clock Wednesday morning. Kramer was alone in the helicopter when it went down landing in a backyard and smashing into a garage. Both the helicopter and the building burst into flames.
Neighbors near the crash shot cell phone video just minutes after the helicopter under contract to spray for mosquitos went down, killing the pilot. "We investigate mainly man, machine, and environment. The man being the pilot, the machine being the aircraft, and the environment being the weather and the terrain conditions," said Aaron Sauer with the National Transportation Safety Board.
"I contacted our field folks and got out here and tried to help as best we could," said Jim Stark. He's with the Metropolitan Mosquito Control District and says the company contracted the helicopter and pilot through Scott's Helicopter Service in Le Seuer. It's one of 16 in the fleet.
"It's like when the NTSB will look at this, we will look at our procedures and kind of review how we're doing things, as I'm sure Scott will," said Stark. Meaning the investigations into what may have caused this deadly crash have only begun, both in the air and on the ground.
"The cause of the crash will be determined by our board members in Washington DC and that could take up to 6 months to a year for that cause to be determined," said Sauer.
The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation.