Authorities in Moab, Utah said Larsen, 47, was in the cockpit when the plane crashed just outside of Canyonlands Regional Airport, instantly killing the family of four, which included wife Amy and their two sons, 11-year-old Christian and 8-year-old Everett.
It is believed the four were returning from a visit with family in Scottsdale, Arizona when and were stopping at the Moab, Utah airport to refuel for their flight home.
First responders were sent to the scene, according to the local sheriff’s office, and found that all four passengers on the plane had died.
The family’s single-engine aircraft went down shortly after they stopped to refuel while returning home from a family gathering in Arizona.
North Dakota state senator Doug Larsen’s fatal plane crash that killed himself, his wife and two young children was not caused by a mechanical failure, according to federal investigators
The plane was piloted by Larsen, who flew Black Hawk helicopters and mobilized twice during his 29 years with the North Dakota Army National Guard.
Security video at the airport showed Larson buying 27 gallons of fuel at a self-serve island at the airport shortly after landing around 5:45 p.m before borrowing a car to drive into town, the NTSB said.
The group returned to the airport shortly after 8 p.m. and got back into the plane. The video showed the plane’s lights illuminate before it rolled down the runway and took off at 8:23 p.m.
The report noted that the runway lights, which are controlled by the pilot, remained dark during takeoff.
The plane climbed to about 200 feet and turned around after takeoff, but started to descend shortly thereafter and crashed within minutes.
A witness reported hearing two distinct impacts when the plane crashed. Investigators found that the plane gouged a hilltop before crashing about 455 feet away.
The NTSB said its examination of the wreckage ‘revealed no mechanical malfunctions or failures that would have precluded normal operations.’
Larsen had recently earned his commercial pilot´s license and had hopes of one day flying for a major airline, state Sen. Jim Roers said.
Authorities in Moab, Utah said Larsen, 47, was in the cockpit when the plane crashed just outside of Canyonlands Regional Airport, instantly killing the family of four
Larsen’s family included wife Amy (pictured left) and their two sons, 11-year-old Christian and 8-year-old Everett
The plane was piloted by Larsen, who flew Black Hawk helicopters and mobilized twice during his 29 years with the North Dakota Army National Guard
Flowers sit on the Senate desk of late North Dakota Senator Doug Larsen following the crash
He was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal, Bronze Service Star and Army Aviator Badge, among other honors. He had logged about 1,800 total military flight hours, according to National Guard spokesperson Nathan Rivard.
Larsen was posthumously promoted from lieutenant colonel to colonel, having met the criteria for promotion, Rivard said.
Dozens of state lawmakers attended the funerals that were held Oct. 10 for the Larsens. They were laid to rest in the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery.
Larsen, a Republican, was elected to the North Dakota Senate in 2020. In the 2023 session, he chaired a Senate panel that handled industry- and business-related legislation.
Source: | This article originally belongs to Dailymail.co.uk