Wednesday, April 08, 2020

Kolb Firestar II, N90KL: Fatal accident occurred April 06, 2020 near Daybreak Airport (WA46), Clark County, Washington

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed.

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Hillsboro, Oregon

Location: La Center, WA
Accident Number: WPR20LA118
Date & Time: April 6, 2020, 09:20 Local
Registration: N90KL
Aircraft: Kolb FIRESTAR 2
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On April 06, 2020, about 0920 Pacific daylight time, a Kolb Firestar 2, N90KL, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Daybreak Airport, La Center, Washington. The pilot sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

A witness that lived near the accident site stated that she routinely observed aircraft maneuver around Daybreak Airport. She recalled that on the day of the accident she was walking and observed an airplane pass over the top of her location at an estimated 200-300 feet above the floor of the valley. The airplane was headed northwest then turned south maneuvering above the tree line. The airplane made a sharp left turn and she lost sight of it as it descended below the tree line. She subsequently heard a loud boom and ran up the hill to call 911.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Kolb 
Registration: N90KL
Model/Series: FIRESTAR 2
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: Yes
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KPDX,107 ft msl
Observation Time: 15:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 14 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 8°C /4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Few / 2000 ft AGL
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 80°
Lowest Ceiling: Broken / 6000 ft AGL
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Camas, WA (1W1)
Destination: Camas, WA (1W1)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Latitude, Longitude: 45.828609,-122.633888 (est)

On Monday at 9:20 a.m., EMS and Clark County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) personnel were dispatched to a possible aircraft crash near Daybreak Airport, near the 4100 block of NE JA Moore Road in the Battle Ground/La Center area of north Clark County.  A resident on a hillside to the west of the airport reported seeing an ultralight airplane possibly crash near the runway. Daybreak Airport is a private grass airstrip.

Upon arrival, EMS personnel and deputies located the small aircraft, which had crashed several hundred yards from the runway in some brush alongside the East Fork of the Lewis River.  The pilot, Banta, was the lone occupant of the airplane was pronounced deceased at the scene. 

Banta possessed an FAA Student Pilot Certificate and was operating a Kolb Firestar 2 ultralight aircraft powered by a single 2-stroke 52 horsepower engine.  The Firestar 2 appears to be a kit-built aircraft, manufactured in 2013 by Kolb Aircraft, Inc.  Banta appears to have owned it since October 2018.

Based on information gathered by CCSO deputies, Banta took off from Grove Field in Camas earlier in the day.  At this point in the investigation, it is not known why Banta’s aircraft crashed near Daybreak Airport.  According to witnesses, it did not appear that Banta’s airplane was in the process of landing or taking off.

In other news Tuesday, Michael Banta was listed as a deceased subject in a collision near Battle Ground on Monday evening.  According to their immediate families, Quin Banta and Michael Banta are not related, and the two events are not related.

The plane crash is still under investigation.

Information provided by Clark County Sheriff’s Office.

The Clark County Sheriff’s Office has identified the pilot killed in a Kolb Firestar II ultralight plane crash on Monday as 58-year-old Quin T. Banta. 

Banta is a Clark County resident with a Federal Aviation Administration student pilot certificate, the sheriff’s office said in a news release. 

Deputies determined that Banta took off from Grove Field in Camas earlier Monday. It’s still unknown why his aircraft crashed near Daybreak Airport, a private airstrip in north Clark County.

“According to witnesses, it did not appear that Banta’s airplane was in the process of landing or taking off,” the sheriff’s office said.

Clark County Fire & Rescue Chief John Nohr previously told The Columbian that it seemed like the plane impacted straight into the ground.

The crash was reported about 9:20 a.m. near Daybreak Airport, near the 4100 block of Northeast JA Moore Road between Battle Ground and La Center. A witness reported that the craft had come down near power lines west of the airstrip.

Emergency crews and deputies located the plane crashed several hundred yards from the runway in some brush alongside the East Fork of the Lewis River, according to a statement from the sheriff’s office.  Banta was pronounced dead at the scene.

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