Updated: 10/30/2013 7:37 AM KSTP.com By: Leslie Dyste
The pilot who died in a plane crash in Princeton on Monday was a well-known business owner in that city. A coworker confirms 51-year-old Kevin Covlin, a father to four girls, died in the crash.
Covlin owned FLR Sanders, which is a company that installs gym floors across the state.
He was with his dog when his single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Princeton Municipal Airport on Monday afternoon, according to Mille Lacs County Sheriff Brent Lindgren.
A witness who was at the airport, 32-year-old Jason Erickson of Monticello, told authorities he heard an explosion. Erickson then looked outside and saw smoke and the plane just west of the runway. He saw a person in the plane, not moving and on fire.
The FAA confirmed the plane was briefly on fire.
An autopsy will be performed by the Anoka County Medical Examiner's Office.
The aircraft is believed to be a 1956 Piper Pacer.
A preliminary investigation reveals the man, identified as Covlin, and his dog were headed to North Dakota to go on a hunting trip. Covlin's dog survived the crash. It was found inside a portable kennel at the scene.
The Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office is working with the FAA and NTSB to investigate the crash.
At this point, additional details have not been released.