10/25/02 5:42:38 PM Pacific Daylight Time
Published Oct. 25, 2002
"I was the one who found it,'' said Gary Ulman, owner of Taconite Aviation at the Eveleth airport, who flew a search mission after air traffic authorities in Duluth lost contact with Sen. Paul Wellstone's plane.
"I was following the track that they should have been on,'' Ulman said. "I saw smoke that I thought was just a chimney fire. I thought I better go check it out anyhow...flew over it.
Then he saw the wreckage.
"There wasn' t much left of the airplane...from what I could see just a verticle tail,'' he said. "It was engulfed in flames, in a wooded swampy area.''
Ulman said the wreckage was one to two miles off course and about the same distance southeast of the airport.
The FAA reported light winds and snow in the area at the time of the crash. Ulman said weather conditions were "good enough for the approach, probably two to 2 1/2 miles of visiblity."
FAA spokeswoman Elizabeth Cory said, "On approach, there was a discussion about approach to the airport. It was on approach when we lost contact with it at 10:20 a.m.''
Cory said there "didn't appear to be" any sign of distress during the discussion.