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NTSB: Heart problem factor in fatal plane crash

February 19, 2014
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The National Transportation Safety Board says a pilot's heart problem likely contributed to his fatal plane crash in south-central Minnesota last spring.

Forty-four-year-old Jeffrey Dean Zabel of Mankato died May 5 when his plane crashed while performing aerobatics near a friend's farm in Easton

In its investigation, the NTSB says Zabel had at least one episode of chest discomfort and palpitations, some heartburn and at least one episode of dizziness while performing aerobatics previously.

Minnesota Public Radio News ( ) reports an autopsy showed significant heart disease.

The report says Zabel likely became incapacitated due to "an acute cardiac event" and lost control of the plane.


Information from: Minnesota Public Radio News,



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