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Associated Press, Published August 13 2009

Authorities try to ID Minn. plane crash victims

EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. - Authorities plan to conduct autopsies on Thursday to try to identify two people killed when the small plane they were in crashed in a Minneapolis suburb.

The owner of the twin-engine Beechcraft 18, Wayne Monson, was one of those killed in the Wednesday morning crash, his son Brandon Monson told the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. He said he didn't know who was in the plane with his father.

Hennepin County Medical Examiner spokeswoman Janet Thill says the victims have not yet been identified.

Wayne Monson bought the 51-year-old plane more than a year ago and had been restoring it, his son said. Wayne Monson planed to fly it to Osceola, Wis., to meet his three sons, Brandon Monson said.

Monson's ex-wife, Sherri Monson, told The Associated Press on Thursday that he was an experienced pilot who learned how to fly in the military.

"We had flown when we were married. He had handled many difficult situations and had survived them," Sherri Monson, Brandon's mother, told the AP.

The plane crashed shortly after taking off from Cloud Airport in Eden Prairie, authorities said. It failed to gain much altitude before crashing.

The plane went down near the Cummins-Grill house, an old farmstead built in the late 1800s that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The house wasn't damaged.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.

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