NTSB: Pilot error caused fatal crash of ‘Rose Man’
Kevin Ferris, the 48-year-old owner of a Duluth flower shop, died as a result of poor judgment when he crashed a rented airplane last March near Hawley, Minn., according to federal investigators.
Ferris, locally known as “The Rose Man,” shouldn’t have flown into foggy conditions because he wasn’t qualified to operate an aircraft in weather that required the exclusive use of cockpit instrumentation, an investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board found.
The full results of the investigation were released Monday.
NTSB investigators said Ferris knew it was foggy in the Hawley area, and his mother had even talked to him during the flight and asked him to land at a different airport.
The single-engine, two-seat Cessna 152 he was flying was found about 15 miles east of the Hawley airport. Investigators said it appeared to have crashed at a high speed with the right wing low, indicating a loss of control of the aircraft.
The investigation found no mechanical problems with the plane, which was registered to Superior Flying Services.
Ferris owned The Rose Man flower shop on Central Entrance in Duluth with his partner, Roz Randorf, who served as the advertising director at the News Tribune at the time but has since been promoted to vice president of advertising for Forum Communications.
Ferris, 48, is a native of Moorhead, Minn., and a graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead. He decided to enter the flower business in 2011 after leaving his master control job at Duluth’s KBJR-TV. He had worked at a television station in Fargo, N.D., before that.