Wednesday, July 01, 2020

Avia Stroitel AC-5M, N263R: Fatal accident occurred June 30, 2020 at Bend Municipal Airport (KBDN), Deschutes County, Oregon

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Portland, Oregon

Experimental glider crashed during departure.

Date: 30-JUL-20

Time: 20:24:00Z
Regis#: N263R
Aircraft Make: AVIA STROITEL
Aircraft Model: AC-CM
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal:  1
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: TAKEOFF (TOF)
Operation: 91
City: BEND

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

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Oregon

Location: Bend Municipal Airport; 63136 Powell Butte Highway

Deceased: McKeage, Christopher S. Age: 65 Bend, Oregon

Aircraft: 2002 Avia Stroitel AC-5M glider

On June 30, 2020, at approximately 1:25pm, deputies with the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office were dispatched to a report of a glider crash in the NE corner of the Bend Municipal Airport. Witnesses reported the aircraft caught fire immediately after it crashed.

Deputies arrived and confirmed a power glider had crashed just after take-off from the airport and the sole occupant, Christopher S. McKeage of Bend, was deceased. Bend Fire Department resources quickly extinguished a small brush fire that occurred because of the crash before it could spread to nearby trees.

Deputies spent the afternoon photographing and documenting the scene, contacting witnesses, and collecting nearby video surveillance around the time of the crash. The information collected will be forwarded onto the FAA and NTSB to assist with their investigation.

The crash is still under investigation and cause has not been determined. McKeage next of kin has been notified.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office was assisted at the scene by the Bend Police and Fire Departments and the Deschutes County Medical Examiner’s Office.

The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Street Crimes, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with six K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves the nearly 190,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 230 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 187 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.

BEND, Oregon (KTVZ) – A motor glider crashed and burned shortly after takeoff Tuesday afternoon at Bend Municipal Airport, killing the pilot, a 65-year-old Bend man, Deschutes County sheriff’s deputies said.

Sgt. William Bailey said deputies were dispatched around 1:25 p.m. to the reported glider crash in the northeast corner of the airport, located off the Powell Butte Highway east of the city. Witnesses reported the aircraft crashed and quickly caught fire.

Deputies learned a 2002 Aviastroitel AC-5M motor glider (also known as a powered glider) had crashed just after takeoff and the sole occupant, Christopher McKeage, had died, Bailey said.

Witnesses said the glider had just left the runway when the pilot apparently encountered engine problems.

The glider rose to about 100 feet but stalled, banked sharply and crashed nose-first into the ground, catching fire seconds later, the witnesses said.

Bend Fire & Rescue, sheriff's deputies and Bend police rushed to the airport as thick, black smoke rose over the crash scene.

Fire crews had the resulting fire knocked down in about 10 minutes.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, which occurred near the airport's helipad, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

The crash remains under investigation and the cause has not been determined, Bailey said. Deputies spent the afternoon photographing and documenting the scene, talking to witnesses and collecting video surveillance around the time of the crash, for forwarding to the federal investigators.

The Deschutes County Medical Examiner's Office also assisted at the scene, he added.

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