MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Transportation officials say marijuana likely played a role in a plane crash in Montevideo two years ago that killed two brothers.
The crash happened on Sept. 7, 2014, near the Montevideo airport. Mark Schultz, of Sleepy Eye, and Steven Schultz, of Brooklyn Center, were killed.
The National Transportation Board said the pilot of the aircraft, who was not identified, likely used marijuana shortly before taking off in the amateur-built, experimental plane.
The pilot’s impaired judgement, officials say, led him to try to fly the plane over its maximum gross weight in gusting wind conditions.
Witnesses of the crash say that the plane climbed about 300 feet after takeoff and turned abruptly as if hit by a gust of wind. It then fell straight into the ground.
Investigators say that the plane didn’t appear to have any pre-impact damage.
“It is likely that the combined effects of the airplane being over its maximum gross weight and the gusting wind conditions led to the pilot’s failure to control the airplane after takeoff,” the National Transportation Board report said.
The takeoff weight of the plane was at least 147 pounds greater than the airplane’s placarded gross weight, investigators said.