WDAY: The News Leader

Published February 21, 2013, 05:56 PM

Friends, family remember Parkers Prairie crash victim

Parkers Prairie, MN (WDAY TV) - An Ottertail pilot is dead after crash landing in a man's front yard.

Parkers Prairie, MN (WDAY TV) - An Ottertail pilot is dead after crash landing in a man's front yard.

Gayle Snook, Witness: "I heard something that sounded like a backfire, kind of like a crop duster. Then I heard a bang."

The small plane landed around 6:30 last night, scattering into pieces. 41-year-old, Adam Menze, was an experienced flyer. Along with his father, mother and twin brother, Aaron, who all had their pilot's licenses.

Friends and family are calling this a freak accident. The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are continuing to investigate the crash. The pilot, husband and father is being called a visionary.

Friends tell us he was go getter and more importantly a family man. Menze leaves behind a wife and six children.

Grant Smith, Friend and Pilot: "I flew with him numerous times. He was a good pilot, never did anything crazy or silly."

Adam Menze knew what he was doing. He'd been flying since he was a teenager, landing his license back in '92, beginning his first years with this one-seater.

Smith: "He's done a lot of cross-country flying over the years and he's a very competent pilot."

21 years later would be his final take off, from his own back yard.

Smith: "To have one of your fellow brother and pilots involved in a fatality, it's kind of a sad deal."

Menze was flying back from Illinois, a day behind because of weather.

This would be Adam's last flight. His plane crashed around 6:30 into these trees, killing him.

Smith: "This is a tragedy beyond belief."

Now he leaves behind a wife and six kids. Ella, Isaac, Paul, Lily, Gloria and Anna.

Doug Bjorklund, Friend: "He had great family values. He raised his kids to be honorable just like he was."

The youngest just four months old.

Bjorklund: "If we could raise our families and have Adam's personality traits this world would be a different place."

And despite a physical disability, friends say he was a successful entrepreneur.

Smith: "It really says a lot for his character and the kind of person he really was. Very determined individual and very focused and very forward thinking, visionary type of guy."

An accident like this leaving town he had touched, wondering why.

Smith: "This type of accident to happen, I mean this is just a freak type of accident, a one-in-a-million type of deal that you really don't understand."

As of now, funeral arrangements have not been made.