Then eight people die because of the very situation that officials in both agencies knew to be dangerous.
In a nutshell, that is the story of the April 19, 1993, plane crash near Dubuque, Iowa.
A cracked propeller hub on the left engine threw a blade and punctured the fuselage of that Mitsubishi MU-2B-60.
It was about 3:40 in the afternoon. The plane, owned by the state government of South Dakota, had just crossed the Mississippi River near Clinton, Iowa. It was returning to Pierre from Cincinnati, Ohio.
The state pilots at the controls were Ron Becker and David Hansen.
Four of their passengers were Gov. George S. Mickelson, Angus Anson of Northern States Power, First Bank of South Dakota president and CEO David Birkeland and Sioux Falls Development Foundation director Roger Hainje.
Also aboard were two top members of Mickelson’s government: economic development commissioner Roland Dolly; and energy policy director Ron Reed, who had come from Brookings with Mickelson to be his first commissioner of economic development.
When that left engine went down, the pilots sent a “Mayday.” They couldn’t have prepared for such an emergency.