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Mankato man killed south of Easton

By Staff | May 12, 2013

A Mankato man was killed when his small plane crashed in a farm field three miles south of Easton on Sunday evening, May 5.

Jeffrey Dean Zabel, 44, was pronounced dead at the scene, according to a report from the Faribault County Sheriff’s Office. Zabel, the pilot, was the only person in the plane at the time of the crash.

The crash occurred about 7:30 p.m. on Sunday near the intersection of 480th Avenue and 160th Street.

Members of the Easton Fire Department, Easton First Responders and Wells Ambulance performed emergency life saving measures at the scene, but were unable to revive Zabel.

The plane was a 1974 Steen Skybolt that was owned by Construction Engineering Services, LLC, of Mankato, a company owned by Zabel.

The crash site was secured overnight by the sheriff’s office and the Elmore Police Department.

The sheriff’s office, the Federal Aviation Authority and the National Transportation Safety Board were at the site on Monday to investigate the crash.

Zabel was raised in Minnesota Lake and graduated from high school there.

He received his pilot’s license in 1986 and had more than700 hours of flight time. He had also recently received his pilot’s instrument rating.

He was a member of the Experimental Aircraft Association of Mankato.

He is survived by his wife, Candy, and two children, Brittany and Nicholas.