Minnesota pilot killed in Afghanistan plane crash [GRAPHIC VIDEO]
|Video of the crash shows Lipka's plane stalling in midair before it falls out of the sky and crashes.|
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Lipka was a civilian contractor who flew cargo planes in Iraq and Afghanistan. The plane he was piloting on Monday crashed shortly after takeoff, killing everyone on board.
Dramatic footage of the crash found its way onto YouTube. Here it is:
In an interview with the Star Tribune, Lipka's stepfather, Dave Buttman, said Lipka "knew the risks."
"He volunteered to take the trips," Buttman said. "When they went to Iraq they used to have military escorts. He had a little more safety that way. But for some reason the U.S. didn't provide that any more. Basically, you're taking your chances flying in there and he was just happy to be one of the pilots to do it."
According to the Strib, Lipka graduated from high school in Pine Island and moved to Michigan about a decade ago. But he still had a daughter in Minnesota and he was in the state to visit her just a couple weeks ago.
Al Jazeera reports that the Taliban took credit for the crash, but NATO officials say they don't believe enemy activity was involved.
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at email@example.com.