Saturday, August 22, 2020

Cessna 150L, N11513: Accident occurred August 18, 2020 in Quillayute, Clallam 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; Des Moines, Washington

Location: Quillayute, WA
Accident Number: WPR20LA279
Date & Time: 08/18/2020, 2330 PDT
Registration: N11513
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Unknown 

On August 18, 2020, about 2330 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150L, N11513, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident near Quillayute, Washington. The student pilot was seriously injured. The airplane was operated as an unauthorized flight.

The investigation of this event is being conducted under the jurisdiction of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) provided requested technical assistance to the Sheriff's Office, and any material generated by the NTSB is under the control of the Sheriff's Office. The NTSB does not plan to issue an investigative report or open a public docket. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Model/Series:150 L 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site:
Condition of Light:
Observation Facility, Elevation: KUIL, 205 ft msl
Observation Time: 0653 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 3 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 13°C / 12°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.05 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Port Townsend, WA (0S9)
Destination: Quillayute, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude:  47.898611, -124.608889 (est)

A 59-year-old Richland man is said to be in critical condition after allegedly stealing and airplane from the Jefferson County Airport in Port Townsend, Washington, then crashing it in the woods near the tiny town of La Push.

Jefferson County Deputies reported on Tuesday a suspicious man tried to rent a Cessna 150L from the airport, but could not show proof of a valid pilot's license. Then later that night, around 10:30PM the owner of the plane reported it had been stolen. According to GPS security equipment on the plane, it was located airborne about 20 miles north of Hoquiam, Washington. Then, the GPS transmissions stopped.

About that same time, a resident near LaPush, Washington, reported a possible plane crash in the forest. Search and rescue crews were not able to locate any wreckage, but Wednesday morning Sheriff's crews were aided by a US Navy helicopter crew located the downed plane with pilot still on board in critical condition.

The man, identified as Richard R. Jordal of Richland, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is still listed as critical.

Sources say security camera footage saw a suspect, presumably Jordal, breaking into an office and stealing a log book and some keys before the plane went missing. Jefferson County officials say Jordal did not have a pilot license/certification or insurance, he only had a student pilot license.

Officials say he made it about 100 miles from where the plane was originally stolen. No word on what kind of charges he will be facing.

LA PUSH, Wash. — A Cessna 150L was reportedly stolen from Jefferson County Airport Tuesday night before crashing into the Olympic National Park late Tuesday night.

The pilot was taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

Investigators said the plane took off around 9 p.m. Tuesday from Bremerton and crashed between 10 and 10:30 p.m. in a heavily forested area of Olympic National Park.

People at the Jefferson County Airport were shaken to hear the news, saying the small airport is a place that runs on trust.

On surveillance video, a man is seen taking keys to the rental plane out of the office at Tailspin Tommy’s.

“He asked me if I would be willing to fly him down to Astoria. And it was something I didn't feel comfortable with. His ways of communication set off red flags for me,” said Todd Hansen, who has a few planes at the airport.

Hansen then suggested the suspect rent a plane.

“He agreed to do that, then continued to ask me if I would fly him down there. And I continued to do what I could at that point to divert and move away from the situation,” Hansen said.

The surveillance system at the airport did not pick up the suspect getting into the plane.

Deputies said he spent $10 on fuel with a credit card and then left a rental car with California plates behind.

The plane stopped at the Bremerton airport for nearly an hour, and then its GPS tracker turned off north of Hoquiam.

At 10:46 p.m., the sheriff's office received a call from law enforcement in Clallam Harbor County to assist with a plane crash near La Push and the Quileute Indian Reservation.

The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office confirmed a person of interest was found in the stolen plane unconscious with a head injury. He was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition.

The suspect has been identified as a 59-year-old man from Richland, Washington.

The FBI will likely be involved with the investigation. Since the suspect only had a student certificate, the FAA could get involved with the investigation, too.

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