Friday, September 14, 2018

Beelzebub, N382T: Fatal accident occurred September 14, 2018 in Rochester, Thurston County, Washington

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Seattle, Washington

Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Rochester, WA
Accident Number: WPR18FA261
Date & Time: 09/14/2018, 1120 PDT
Registration: N382T
Aircraft: GRUBER Beelzabub
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On September 14, 2018, about 1120 Pacific daylight time, an experimental Gruber Beelzabub, N382T, collided with a tree while maneuvering and impacted the ground near Rochester, Washington. The pilot/owner and pilot-rated passenger were fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The pilot operated the airplane under Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. No flight plan had been filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight that departed Flying B Airport (8WA0), Rainier, Washington.

According to witnesses in the area, the airplane flew overhead completing one circuit at a high altitude. On the second circuit, the airplane was at a lower altitude and made an approach traveling from the north to south followed by a turn toward the east. The airplane dropped below a tree line out of view. The witnesses stated the airplane reappeared as it was climbing over a tree line in a turn toward the south. The witnesses observed the wings wag and the front passenger wave at them just before the airplane's left wing impacted a tree top.

The witnesses stated that the engine was running at the time of the accident. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: GRUBER
Registration: N382T
Model/Series: Beelzabub
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation:
Observation Time:
Distance from Accident Site:
Temperature/Dew Point:
Lowest Cloud Condition:
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction:
Lowest Ceiling:
Altimeter Setting:
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point:

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude:  46.713333, -122.946389 (est)

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

Edan Aspen Lifesong 

Edan Aspen Lifesong died in his beloved plane on Friday, September 14, 2018. He was 34 years old. Edan lived an adventurous life, born under an aspen tree, on 480 acres in Eastern Washington. 

When Edan was 6, his mother, brother and sister moved to Olympia. He was a sweet, considerate and loving man. He had a sense of adventure that took him fishing, crabbing in Alaska, trimming trees and falling timber. During this adventurous life, he traveled extensively, throughout Europe, South America and Asia. He spent a year on the north shore of Kuai, camping and surfing. His dream of becoming a pilot began early in his life, achieving his license in 2017. The absolute highlight of his life was the birth of his son Rafferty Sailor Lifesong in 2012. This blue-eyed boy meant the world to him. Their relationship and love of adventure will be forever remembered. Our family wishes to thank all the friends for their unwavering support, St. Peters Hospital Case Management for feeding us, the coroner for your gentle support over the past few days. We are so blessed with this outpouring of love. Our hearts go out to Brett Lamphere's family during this difficult time. 

Edan leaves behind his young son Rafferty, his parents Ginny Kerr, Mike Coogan and Chuck Smith, grandparents, Tom, Beth and Robbie, sister Tasi, her husband Ryan, brother Trevor, his wife Jamie, nephews Lucas and Elwood and nieces Juniper and Ophelia. An extra thank you to family friend Brenda Stocker who held me up. Memorial will be held September 29, at the Olympia Flight Museum in Tumwater, WA. From 1-5 pm.

Edan Lifesong, age 34

Brett Lamphere, age 19

Key Way Airport (19WA), Stevenson, Washington

The two men who died in a plane crash Friday have been identified as Edan Lifesong, 34, of Olympia and Brett Lamphere, 19, of Centralia, according to the Thurston County Coroner’s Office.

Lifesong and Lamphere were flying an experimental home-built open cockpit plane when it crashed about 3 miles off Old Highway 99.

The crash was witnessed by logging company workers in the area who called 911 at about 11:30 a.m. Both men were dead by the time emergency crews reached the scene.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and investigators were en route Friday to lead the investigation.

Original article can be found here ➤

Captain Dyer, EMS Officer/Public Information Officer - West Thurston Regional Fire Authority speaks  with the media regarding the aircraft crash.

A West Thurston Fire Authority command vehicle drives through the forest southwest of Tenino as it leaves the scene of a fatal experimental aircraft crash on September 14th, 2018. 

Two men died Friday in a plane crash in the hills above South Sound Speedway near Rochester.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Captain Lanette Dyer said the men were in their mid 20s to 30s and were flying an experimental home-built open cockpit plane.

Dyer said it is unclear where the plane took off from, but it was heading south when it crashed about 3 miles off Old Highway 99.

The crash was witnessed by logging company workers in the area who called 911 at about 11:30 a.m. Both men were dead by the time emergency crews reached the scene.

The men’s names were not released. Dyer said it is unclear if either man was a licensed pilot.

The Federal Aviation Administration was notified and investigators are en route to lead the investigation.

Story and video ➤

THURSTON COUNTY, Washington - Crews responded to the report of a downed aircraft in the hills near South Sound Speedway on Friday at about noon.

Officials initially said there were “no details other than two patients.”

At about 1 p.m., officials said two men, 20 to 30 years old, died in the crash. 

West Thurston fire officials said the plane was an "experimental, home-built open cockpit plane."

Chopper 7 flew over the crash. Wreckage could be seen in deep trees, near a logging operation southwest of Bucoda, Washington.

Story and video ➤

TENINO, Washington  — Two men were killed when a Beelzebub experimental aircraft crashed Friday in southeast Thurston County.

West Thurston Regional Fire Authority Capt. Lynette Dyer says the men were in their mid-20s to 30s.

Loggers working nearby saw the plane go down and called 911 at about 11:30 a.m. Both men were dead when emergency crews arrived.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

Original article can be found here ➤

ROCHESTER, Washington - A Beelzebub experimental aircraft crashed in a wooded area in Thurston County Friday morning, killing both men on board, according to fire officials.

The plane was reported to go down in the hills above the South Sound Speedway in Rochester. Firefighters later said they found the small plane in the trees.

Officials said two men in their 20s died in the crash, which involved an Beelzebub with an open cockpit.

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

The victims' names have not been released.

Original article can be found here ➤


  1. I knew both men and have knowledge of the accident. Both men held private pilot certificates and medical certificates. Edan had flown about 180 hours, and both men were competent pilots. Edan had a tailwheel endorsement and was the pilot on the accident flight. His airplane handling skills were good; better than average. I watched him fly the accident airplane and he handled it well.

    The airplane was a modified Stolp Starduster Too fitted with a Jacobs 245 hp radial engine and a fixed pitch Curtiss-Reed propeller. The workmanship on the aircraft was excellent and it flew well, with a gentle power off stall. Witnesses said the airplane, while maneuvering in cruise flight, collided with a tall tree about 15 feet from the top. Both left wings and the left horizontal tailplane separated from the airplane in the collision.

    Edan appeared to have recovered from his earlier leg injury and he walked without a limp. He was a devoted father to his son. Both men were well liked and true aviation enthusiasts. Edan was a logger, a tree faller, and Brett was a college student. Both planned to be professional pilots. Low flying appears to be the cause of the accident.

  2. Thoughts and prayers for the pilots and families. I also knew them from around the airport and they were the nicest, best guys. So sad. Also sad about some of the low class, hateful trolls on the internet. They should remember that we are all equal in the eyes of the Lord and the laws of physics.

  3. It's not very difficult to do an airman inquiry....

    Edan got his PP in 12/2017.
    Brett got his 7/2017.

    Both had first class medical.

  4. How thoughtless of his 5 year old son, what a stupid thing to do,

  5. Both will be in my prayers, our lives are so short and to be taken so young..... Rest in peace, God Bless.

  6. Don’t give the asinine comments any attention, it just prompts them to continue their brainless activity. More than likely the same filth you see throwing rocks for ANTIFA or disrespecting our flag and anthem.
    As for this accident. Truly tragic and so easily avoided. Rule number one in aviation, “ there is nothing more worthless than the fuel you have burned and/or the airspace above you when .. you run out of fuel or need a place to land in an emergency..”. I have preached this to my students for two decades of instruction and drove home how dangerous it is to “fly the nap of the earth”. It’s amazing how fast things come at you in cruise, many times faster than human reflexes.

  7. Very sad , Low level flying is fun but can be deadly . I am sorry for the friends and
    family as well as the pilots doing what they loved .

  8. The only ones to cast stones should be those who do not live in glass houses, specifically those who never in their lives took foolish risks and were lucky to survive. I think all of us look back at some of our own actions, both deliberate and accidental which make us shake our heads and wonder how we didn't kill ourselves and/or others. There is nothing to be gained by disparaging these young men for this accident which took their lives. Condolences are the only humane response.

    There's far too much willingness to espouse extreme views and behavior on all sides of all issues anymore, and far too much visibility for the cretins who do so. No group can claim the high ground, and attributing this behavior to those you disagree with does nothing to diminish the activity. I think there is great value in calling out the specific vile actions to the individual involved. Attempting to generalize those specific acts to other individuals and groups only adds fuel to the fires those trolls are working so hard to keep burning.

  9. You "Assnonamous" are a real 1st class TURD. Hide behind your comments because you're a pansy, too afraid to reveal who you are lest someone come and slap your teeth out. Say something else, and somebody will be paying you a visit.

  10. My Dad and I built a Starduster II back in the early 70s, I still fly it on occasion. I'm a retired military and airline pilot with more flight time than I care to count, many hours doing low level navs in fighters. It deeply saddens me when I read about a fatal accident that probably could have been avoided by using a little common sense. Horseplay and mistakes in airplanes aren't always fatal, but they leave no room for error. These men were young and had their whole lives ahead of them, such a waste. My condolences go out to the families for their tragic loss. Hopefully, those who read this accident report will remember that airplanes can be fun, but common sense and good judgement are better than a pair of "golden hands".

  11. Hun Driver you have said it all, the last sentence is pure GOLD. Thank you so very much.

  12. I knew Edan and his boy. Edan lived an amazing, adventurous life and was truly humble about it. He was a great guy. Really passionate about aviation and a lot of fun to just shoot the shit with.

    I also knew the kind of flying he was doing, and the kind of pilots he was hanging around that were influencing him. Had a couple chats with him about being safe and responsible after we talked in confidence about the close calls that shook him up.

    I didn't fully appreciate before now how important it is in the aviation community to actively foster a culture of safety, either. We influence each other. Especially experienced pilots around low-time pilots.

    I'm dead certain that if Edan had been flying with a crowd who admonished instead of encouraged the low-level and frankly illegal flying that he was doing, his story would have had a different ending. He would have got his comm ticket and run off crop-dusting like he planned. And he would have been great at it.

    Anyway, being close to all this, that's been my ultimate takeaway.

    And anyone wanting to piss on Edan's character can come fight me, an anonymous lurker on KR. He was rare, and twice the dude you'll ever be.

  13. It sucks that two people are dead because of poor decision making. I'm certain that neither planned on ending their lives that day.