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Pilot who died in Lisbon crash described as 'incredible,' 'kind and considerate'

Larry Ketterling in his plane in a photo posted on his Facebook page in January.1 / 2
Larry Ketterling in his profile photo on Facebook.2 / 2

LISBON, N.D. – The pilot of a small plane is dead after a plane crash in southeast North Dakota on Thursday evening.

North Dakota Highway Patrol Sgt. Tom Herzig identified the victim as Larry Ketterling, 64, of Lisbon. Herzig said the small airplane went down in a wheat field about 7:40 p.m. 4 miles northwest of Lisbon.

The plane sustained extensive damage to its front and underside, Herzig said.

“There was a big fire, you could actually see the smoke for miles around,” North Dakota State Patrol Cpt. Bryan Niewind told WDAY-TV.

Troy Jorgenson, of Lisbon, saw smoke from the crash site and told WDAY-TV he thought “it was somebody just burning wood and threw a tire on it or something.”

Scott Schell, a longtime friend and Lisbon resident, said Ketterling was married and sold insurance for a living.

“He was incredible, he was kind and considerate,” Schell said. “He was just genuinely one of the greatest people I know.”

Schell called Ketterling a “good Samaritan” who was always offering a helping hand.

“If you were putting in a new sump pump and had any questions, he’s the first guy to come over and help you,” he said.

Ketterling was an experienced pilot, Schell said.

“I’ve flown with him multiple times … and I never, ever, ever questioned his flying abilities,” he said.

The incident remains under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration.

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