Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Unregistered Quicksilver: Fatal accident occurred August 30, 2016 near Mount Vernon Airport (KMVN), Jefferson County, Illinois


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Springfield FSDO-19

Date: 30-AUG-16

Time: 20:45:00Z
Aircraft Make: QUICKSILVER
Event Type: Accident
Highest Injury: Fatal
Damage: Substantial
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
State: Illinois

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

An autopsy shows the pilot of an ultralight plane that crashed south of the Mt. Vernon Outland Airport on Tuesday died from injuries sustained in the crash.

Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks says Jason Pearson of McLeansboro sustained massive blunt force trauma caused by the deceleration and crash of the plane. He reports no health problems were found that could have contributed to the crash.

Marks says a witness reported seeing the ultralight plane going straight up and then apparently stalling before the crash occurred. He reports Pearson had done various maneuvers with ultralights for years.

The crash occurred in a bean field in the area of North Chestnut Lane and East Liberty Road.

The accident remains under investigation by the FAA, Jefferson County Sheriff's Department and the coroner's office.


MT. VERNON — The pilot who crashed his ultralight aircraft Tuesday afternoon south of Liberty Road has been identified as Jason Pearson.

Pearson, 39, of McLeansboro, was killed Tuesday afternoon after his ultralight aircraft crashed near a creek and wooded area south of Liberty Road and east of Chestnut Acres Road, just before 4 p.m. Pearson was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident by Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks.

Marks said Pearson's remains have been taken to Hughey Funeral Home and an autopsy is scheduled for Thursday to determine if the death was caused by the crash.

Mt. Vernon Outland Airport Manager Chris Collins was one of those called first to the scene, which could only be reached on foot or ATV. He and first responder representatives from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and Jefferson Fire Protection District and a local resident to begin the initial identification of the pilot.

Collins returned to the airport, where he verified that Pearson's vehicle was at his hangar which housed the aircraft, which had been taken up by Pearson earlier.

The FAA was contacted Tuesday, an official aircraft was asked to fly overhead to take investigative photos for the National Traffic Safety Administration and the FAA. The FAA then requested first responders on the ground take several photographs of the scene.

Collins said although the NTSB and FAA usually don't investigate ultralight crashes, an investigation is underway due to the fatality.

Collins said Wednesday the FAA investigator arrived to inspect the scene by 11 a.m. Wednesday morning and left the scene about 1 p.m.

"He released the aircraft to take to the airport, and secure in a hangar," Collins said. "The NTSB is now the owner of the aircraft until they or the FAA release it to the family."

Collins said once in the hangar, the FAA investigator will begin his inspection of each piece of the wreckage.

"It's easier to see everything which is laid out on a level floor," Collins said.

The investigation is expected to take several weeks to conclude.

"As to the official findings, who knows how long it will take on that," Collins said. "There are a lot of guidelines they have to follow. We never know how long these things are going to take."

Pearson was a professional in the aviation industry and active with the local Experimental Aircraft Association. He worked on the pit crew for several hang glider, ultralight and RC shows.

"I've known him for over 20 years," Collins said. "Everyone is devastated at the airport. It hits close to home."

Collins said when not working in the airshow industry, he would be at Mt. Vernon Outland Airport flying his ultralight, which was based in a hangar at the airport, or talking with other aviation enthusiasts. Pearson used the aviation handle "Snoopy."

"He just got back into town on Monday," Collins said. "He has been in California working. But, we always knew when the airshow circuit was done, because he would come out here and fly when he was home."

Collins said Pearson "lived the aviation life."

"I don't know anyone who was more excited about aviation than Jason," Collins said. "Model airplanes, remote control airplanes, the ultralight he flew — he loved it all."

"Jason Pearson was not a performer, but without Jason, performers couldn't do their jobs," said Scott McMillan, another aviation professional from Colorado. "Jason was one of the best air show grunts in the business and I am a better person for having known him."

Pearson was also home in August and took part in the 10th Annual Jim LeRoy Memorial Fly-In, hosted by the Hamilton County Fearless Flyers Model Club and served as an officer.

Funeral service information has not been announced at this time.


JEFFERSON COUNTY -- New details have emerged about Tuesday afternoon's ultralight crash near the Mt. Vernon Airport.

Jefferson County Sheriff Travis Allen has confirmed that the crash killed Jason Pearson, 39, of McLeansboro.

Rosalie Mahan lives just down the road from where the plane crashed and saw it going down while on her way to the store.

"This plane just come like it was coming down the road, and I got my mail and thought, 'Well, he sure is kind of low,'" said Mahan.

Mahan says she never would've thought the plane was about to crash.

"About an hour later my son, who lives here in town, texted me and told me there was a plane that went down here in town," added Mahan.

That plane belonged to Pearson, who regularly flew out of the Mt. Vernon Airport.

"It's kind of a small, tight-knit group of people who fly out of there together," added Jefferson County Chief Deputy Clint Taylor.

That tight-knit group called Pearson a great person and great friend.

When Mahan found out Pearson was killed in the crash, she was distraught.

"I had to go get my daughter to come stay the night with me, that's how much it upset me," added Mahan.

Federal investigators finished up their investigation Wednesday afternoon.

There is no word yet on when the findings will come out.

Story and video:

Mt. Vernon Airport Manager Chris Collins speaks with Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Joe Marks and Jefferson Fire Protection District Capt. Ryan Clinton on Tuesday before the coroner goes back to the fatal ultralight crash scene.

The pilot of an ultralight aircraft is dead after his plane crashed in a bean field about a half mile south of Mt. Vernon Outland Airport late Tuesday afternoon.

Jefferson County Coroner Eddie Jo Marks pronounced the man dead at the scene of the crash. His name is not being released pending notification of family.

Marks says both the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board are expected to join the investigation on Wednesday. He said the pilot was experienced with flying ultra light aircraft.

An autopsy is planned Thursday to try and determine if the pilot had any underlying health issues that could have caused the crash.

Marks says a witness reported the ultralight spiraling down to the ground south of the East Liberty Road. He reports there was no fire after the crash.

The crash was reported shortly after four Tuesday afternoon.


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