Pilot Dies in Washington State Plane Crash

by nph | August 3rd, 2011

An investigator examines the wreckage of a light plane north of Camas on August 3.

An investigator examines the wreckage of a light plane north of Camas on August 3.

August 3, 2011

A pilot lost his life Wednesday, August 3, when his 1960 Piper Comanche went down in Camas, Washington.

The accident occurred around 4:40 p.m. in a field less than a mile northeast of Grove Field Airport. The 84-year-old pilot was returning to Camas after a pilot friend flew him earlier in the day to Hermiston, Oregon, to pick up his plane. He was reportedly maneuvering near the airport, allowing another pilot to land, when his plane crashed into a small hill near the intersection of Northeast 267th Avenue and 19th Street.

A witness reports that the plane nosedived into the ground “at full throttle.”

Another witness told The Columbian, “I just heard a super, super loud noise. I looked out a window and I could just see the wings of a plane. I was pretty sure it was going to hit the house. I went to the front door to get out. I could see him trying to turn. I came out the front door and felt the house shake, and the ground shake, like a small earthquake.”

The Columbian reports that the pilot, a collector of World War II airplanes, had told airport official Jim Metzger that his Comanche (also known as a PA-24-250) needed some repairs. Metzer says he believes a medical problem caused the crash.

The victim owned approximately 15 airplanes. He maintained five acres, two hangars, and a mobile home at the north end of Grove Field Airport and also kept a residence in Canby, Oregon.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will both investigate the crash.

Read more.

What do you think caused this Washington State aviation accident?

If you or someone you know has had their safety compromised on a commercial or private aircraft, the aviation lawyers at Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy can help.

Photo courtesy of The Columbian