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UND student pilot dies in plane crash near Buxton

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 10:23 PM CDT
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BUXTON, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A University of North Dakota student pilot is dead following a plane crash near Buxton. A North Dakota Highway Patrol report says the crash happened Monday, Oct. 18 at 8:30 p.m. in a field near 11th Street NE and 165th Avenue NE.

UND identified the student who died as 19-year-old John Hauser, a commercial aviation student from Chicago, Illinois.

Freshman commercial aviation student Christopher Kelly said the UND community is in shock.

“Everyone is feeling sad, it’s a sad day in North Dakota,” said Kelly, “The loss of a student...it’s an eye-opening event. Aviation is dangerous.”

The Dean of the John D. Odegard School of Aerospace Sciences Robert Kraus halted all UND aerospace flight training activities for Oct. 19. It’s unclear what caused the plane, owned by UND, to crash. Despite rumors swirling around campus Kraus asked students not to speculate and let the investigation take its course.

Kelly emphasized how dangerous the profession is.

“When you think of aviation you think of it’s safer than driving, but stuff like this does happen and when something small goes wrong, it can quickly get worse,” said Kelly.

Memorials are popping up around the UND campus. Hauser was a member of UND’s chapter of Delta Tau Delta. A vigil will be held at their fraternity house at 8:30 p.m. to honor him. The incident remains under investigation by the NDHP and FAA.

A statement from the University of North Dakota reads:

The University of North Dakota community is deeply saddened to learn of the death of John Hauser, a student majoring in Commercial Aviation from Chicago, Illinois.

We extend our heartfelt condolences to John’s family, friends, classmates, and fraternity brothers. They are all in our thoughts and prayers.

The loss of a member of our UND community affects us all. The University is here to offer support to students who would like counseling assistance. University Counseling Center staff members are available for crisis sessions any time Monday-Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. In addition, representatives from the Counseling Center will be available in Ryan Hall, room 207, for the remainder of this week for anyone who would like to talk with them. Please call 701-777-2127 to schedule an appointment. University Counseling Center will accommodate students’ needs for service on a case by case need. After hours, 24/7 First Link support is available and can be reached by dialing 211 or calling 701-235-7335.

Faculty and staff can also consult UND’s Employee Assistance Program, thevillagefamily.org or 1.800.627.8220 as needed.

This is a tragic time for John’s family and his friends. We must take the time to remember his impact on our campus community and to come together to support one another.

Andy Armacost, UND President

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