Minden airplane crash victim from Germany
May 21, 2007
MINDEN – Egon Fritz, 64, of Germany, was identified as the pilot killed Sunday in the crash of a single engine float plane which skidded off the roof of a Minden garage before it struck the ground and overturned.
Sheriff’s Sgt. Tom Mezzetta said Monday Fritz’s family in Germany had been notified.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash which occurred in the 1700 block of North Benton Road in Minden just after 3:15 p.m.
“I heard a plane that was way too loud. I looked up and it was right there above my porch. As I looked up it went over the garage and there was a huge plume of dust,” said Merry Anderson.
The single engine float plane lost power, skidded off the roof of Anderson’s home, struck the ground twice and overturned. It left two holes in Anderson’s garage, but caused only slight damage.
The exact cause of the crash isn’t known and is under investigation by the FAA.
Douglas Sheriff’s Capt. Mike Biaggini said Fritz had no relatives in the area, but had friends in Northridge, Calif.
He said the pilot was killed instantly.
“If he’d had 18-24 more inches of altitude, he would have missed the roof and there’s a chance he would have been able to land the plane in the field. But it’s like tripping someone who is walking. It put the nose right down in the ground,” Biaggini said.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration report, the aircraft was a SIAI-Marchette FN-333, an amphibian plane.