Saturday, August 29, 2020

Belite, Unregistered: Fatal accident occurred August 29, 2020 at Prineville Airport (S39), Crook County, Oregon

Jackson Henry Edwards
October 12th, 1992 ~ August 29th, 2020
 (age 27)

Jackson Henry Edwards, 27, of Redmond, Oregon passed away on August 29th, 2020.

A full obituary and service information will be posted soon.

Whispering Pines Funeral Home is honored to assist the family with arrangements.

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

PRINEVILLE — The homemade airplane crash Saturday in Prineville that killed the pilot will not be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration or the National Transportation Safety Board.

Ian Gregor, a spokesperson for the FAA, said the agencies only investigate crashes involving registered aircraft, and the homemade ultralight airplane was not registered.

“The FAA does not investigate because you don’t need a pilot license to fly one, and they do not need an FAA airworthiness certificate,” Gregor said.

Jackson Edwards, 27, of Redmond, was the only person aboard the homemade plane when it crashed shortly after taking off from the Prineville Airport at about 12:41 p.m. Saturday, according to Prineville Police. The plane crashed about 180 yards from the runway, witnesses told police.

Mechanical failure appears to be a factor in the crash, police said.

Edwards was pronounced dead at about 1:05 p.m. by Crook County Fire and Rescue officials.

It was the second fatal crash in Central Oregon since June.

PRINEVILLE, Oregon (KTVZ) – A Redmond man was killed Saturday afternoon in the crash of his ultralight aircraft, which apparently had a mechanical failure shortly after takeoff from Prineville Airport, police said.

Police were called to the airport around 12:40 p.m. on the reported crash near the end of the runway, Sgt. Robert Gray said.

Oregon State Police troopers and Crook County sheriff’s deputies also went to the scene and helped remove the pilot, identified as Jackson Edwards, 27, of Redmond, from the plane, Gray said.

The first responders attempted life-saving measures on the pilot, who was alone in the plane, and an AirLink helicopter was called in. But Edwards was pronounced dead at the scene shortly after 1 p.m. by Crook County Fire & Rescue, the sergeant said.

Witnesses said Edwards had just taken off and the plane crashed within about 180 yards of the runway.

"At this time, it appears mechanical failure played a role in the crash" of the ultralight aircraft, Gray added.

A witness told NewsChannel 21 at the scene the pilot had brought the ultralight aircraft to a hangar, unfolded its wings, washed the plane and performed pre-flight tests, making slight adjustments to the airspeed indicator.

He said the plane took off and leveled off around 300 feet and was making a right turn when the engine apparently failed and it crashed. Another pilot said he heard the pilot report an engine failure shortly before the crash.


  1. Pilot's youtube:

    Build progress:

  2. Just watched his YouTube videos... looked like a fun plane, sure hope he didn't get caught up in the moment and run out of fuel or something ... wonder if a BRS would have broken the fall.... To young for this to happen. R.I.P. young man.

    1. I couldn't even type this yesterday not wanting to accept it. He was an accomplished pilot who myself and many others enjoyed the pleasure of flying with many times. He was so skilled as a pilot I never felt safer in the air in my life than when he was flying. He was so abnormally brilliant and modest and humble about it. He was so kind and polite to everyone I ever saw him encounter, and patiently taught anyone, including myself, so many amazing skills he was a master of doing. He could manually mill and lathe various metals, or program a CNC to do it. He could weld cro-moly like a professional welder, and he could design a stress-optimized structure for anything that was lightweight and tough and easy to build and serviceable. He could also design EV motor magnetics, did some power EE work, master at making rugged EVs of all types. We designed batteries together for so many EVs over 11years, and he designed motors for many more OEM projects and EV race efforts. I never saw him get upset at anyone or anything the whole time I knew him, I know the sky has a new star in it shining down on us. For the huge amount of folks to call him a friend whom he left behind, remember there's a new super-powered guardian angel gracing this universe. So brilliant and wise and kind of a spirit will live on in the lives he and his work touches.

  3. Looked like an amazing kid .. gravity has taken so many like him from us ... Flying is a hard mistress and gives quarter to no one whether brave, brilliant or bold ... at least his spirit will live on within the shadow of those he touched in this world .. RIP Aviator :(

  4. Youtube videos made it look like he was working on an electric powered plane. Personal experience from model aircraft are that with some light, slow flying aircraft control authority depends significantly on prop wash. If the motor or controller had a sudden failure when he was already slow and not in a nose down attitude, he may have lacked sufficient control authority to maintain control.

    1. He never had problems with the electric powertrain and had just switched to a gas engine...

    2. If he never had problems with the electric power train, would you know why he happened to switch to gas? Just curious.

    3. Link below to post in build progress where he talked about drag being high and limited flight time/low speed on electric.

  5. A posting in the build progress October 2019 says the engine that was going to replace the electric motor was a Rotax 447.

  6. So the guy died, RIP, and not one agency will consider investigating this? So no determination at all of what happened for the benefit of safety? No closure for his family?
    Even a deadly car crash gets more respect than that. Unless the local authorities are the ones making the determination.

    1. I would imagine the county coroner and local LE will investigate much as they would for other serious transportation accidents .. release of info will just be local and not at level