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NTSB: Pilot error likely cause of fatal ND crash

VALLEY CITY -- Pilot error likely caused an airplane crash last fall that killed a veteran North Dakota stunt pilot, federal investigators have found.

Bob Odegaard died Sept. 7 when his vintage Super Corsair plane crashed while he was practicing for a Valley City air show. The National Transportation Safety Board concluded that Odegaard made an acrobatic maneuver at an altitude that did not allow him to fully recover the plane before it hit the ground at the Barnes County Municipal Airport.

The NTSB found no sign of mechanical problems, although investigators said the extent of the damage didn't allow for a complete exam of the flight control system.

Odegaard, 66, of Kindred, was a longtime pilot who owned an aerial spraying business and who rebuilt planes.

The NTSB conclusion surprised Dick Walstad and retired Air Force Maj. Gen. Darrol Schroeder, friends of Odegaard who worked with him and Gerald Beck to establish the Fargo Air Museum and AirSho.

"Bob was a very experienced, very talented pilot and had performed maneuvers of this kind many, many times before," Walstad said.

The Fargo Air Museum is building an aircraft hangar addition named in honor of Odegaard and Beck, of Wahpeton, who died in 2007 when his P-51 crashed at an air show in Oshkosh, Wis.