Saturday, April 24, 2021

Vultee BT-13A Valiant, N53331; fatal accident occurred April 21, 2021 and accident occurred August 12, 2016

Mark Lyn Lewallen
July 15, 1951 ~ April 21, 2021 (age 69)

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. 

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

Location: Camas, WA
Accident Number: WPR21FA170
Date & Time: April 21, 2021, 15:13 Local
Registration: N53331
Aircraft: Consolidated Vultee BT-13A
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Instructional

On April 21, 2021, about 1513 Pacific standard time, a Consolidated Vultee BT-13A, N53331, was substantially damaged when it was involved in an accident at the Grove Field Airport (1W1), Camas, Washington. The pilot receiving instruction was fatally injured and the flight instructor sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 instructional flight.

The instructor reported that the purpose of the accident flight was recurrent training for the pilot receiving instruction. They departed 1W1, flew to a nearby airport and conducted several takeoffs and landings before they returned to 1W1. The instructor stated that their first approach to landing on runway 25 resulted in a go-around. On the second approach to land, the pilot receiving instruction performed a 3-point landing. During the landing roll, the airplane veered left and exited the runway. The instructor stated that no attempt was made by the pilot receiving instruction to return the airplane to the runway. However, at an airspeed of about 35 miles per hour, the pilot receiving instruction added full power and immediately “pitched up.” The airplane climbed in ground effect to approximately 30 ft, then entered a stalling left turn. The instructor stated that the bank angle continued to increase before the airplane impacted the ground. The instructor further added that he had been guarding the flight controls but because of the low altitude, he did not have time to correct. 

Postaccident examination of the accident site by a National Transportation Safety Board investigator revealed that the airplane impacted terrain about 890 ft from the approach end of runway 25, and 95 ft south of the runway. A damaged runway light was observed about 570 ft from the runway threshold. The first identified point of contact with terrain was a ground scar that was about 6 ft in length and contained red navigational lens fragments. The debris path extended about 120 ft from the initial point of contact to the main wreckage, oriented on a heading of 215° magnetic. The airplane came to rest in a near vertical attitude against a hangar on a heading of 141° magnetic. The fuselage and wings were mostly intact, however, the forward portion of the fuselage exhibited impact damage; with the engine and engine mount separated from the firewall. Flight control continuity was established from both cockpit controls to all primary flight control surfaces. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Consolidated Vultee 
Registration: N53331
Model/Series: BT-13A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
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: KTTD,29 ft msl
Observation Time: 14:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 24°C /0°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.97 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Hood River, OR (4S2)
Destination: Camas, WA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious Latitude,
Longitude: 45.627829,-122.40431 

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

On Wednesday, April 21, 2021, Mark Lyn Lewallen, loving husband, father and grandfather, passed away in an airplane accident in Camas, Washington at the age of 69.

Mark was born on July 15, 1951 on the kitchen table of his home in Appleton, Washington to Donald and Jodean Lewallen. On December 29, 1976 he married Charlene Younger. They raised a son, Mark Jr.  He later remarried Sandra Tunison on April 7, 2012.

He received an Electronics degree at Clackamas Community College before serving in the US Navy on the USS Oriskany from 1971-1975. Following that he worked as an HVAC sheet metal worker and then was involved in dredging the Columbia River. From 1978-1980 he worked on the maintenance cranes at the Bonneville dam. He then worked at Winco as a grocery store technician for the rest of his career. 

Mark had a passion for flying. He saw his first BT13 at the age of 4, announced that he wants it, and fulfilled his lifelong dream in 2012 at the age of 60. His plane, nicknamed “The Mistress” and various vintage cars including a Model A and 1934 Ford were among his strongest passions.  He also enjoyed sailing the Columbia.  He was known for his generous nature, love of life and infectious smile.

Mark was preceded in death by a young son Charles, his first wife Charlene and a step sister Gaye BeenĂ©.  He is survived by his wife Sandra (68), son Mark (40) and Crystal Lewallen, step-daughter Rebecca Perala, grandchildren Tacye (6) and Carson (3).

Funeral services will be held Saturday, May 1, 10:00 am at Riverview Abbey Funeral Home on Taylors Ferry Rd, with interment at Oregon City Mountain View Cemetery at 11:30.

A Vancouver man was killed Wednesday afternoon when his vintage aircraft crashed into a hangar on the northwestern end of Grove Field airport north of Camas.

His daughter, Rebecca Perala of Vancouver, identified him Thursday as 69-year-old Mark Lewallen.

The National Transportation Safety Board posted on Twitter that the involved plane was a Consolidated Vultee BT-13A, a World War II-era trainer aircraft. The Federal Aviation Administration registry shows the plane was manufactured in 1941 and had been registered to Lewallen since October 2012.

A passenger in Lewallen’s aircraft, whose name has not been released, was taken by ambulance to a local hospital with traumatic injuries, according to the authorities.

The man was a friend of Lewallen’s and a flight instructor, who has a nearly identical plane and tens of thousands of hours of flying experience, said Perala, 45.

Lewallen was also an experienced pilot, she said, and he had flown off and on since he was a teenager, with hundreds of flying hours under his belt.

Clark County sheriff’s deputies and East County Fire & Rescue personnel responded at 3:13 p.m. for the aircraft emergency at Grove Field, 632 N.E. 267th Ave., about 3 miles north of Camas.

Initial reports indicated that one person was trapped inside the aircraft and another was outside of it. Two ambulances were called to the scene, but one was later canceled, according to emergency radio traffic monitored by The Columbian.

East County Fire & Rescue Fire Chief Mike Carnes said the pilot later identified as Lewallen was seated in the front of the plane and receiving training from the pilot in the rear of the aircraft. Carnes said he was unsure if the plane was connected to the flight school at Grove Field.

The cause of the crash is unknown. The NTSB and FAA were on scene Thursday investigating.

Perala said the family doesn’t know much about what happened, other than the crash occurred either on the landing or final touch-and-go before landing for the day.

She said, according to the passenger, Lewallen came in a bit fast, landed and started to take off into the grass.

“He powered up with the hope of pulling back up into the air and going back around to correct the landing. That’s when he lost control,” Perala said in an email. “We don’t know yet whether it was airplane, person or environment, or all three.”

Grove Field is owned and operated by the Port of Camas-Washougal. The airfield was closed most of Thursday for the crash investigation.

“Our hearts go out to the victims and the family and friends of the deceased,” Sadie Hayes, the Port’s community relations specialist, said in a statement.


Aviation Accident Final Report - National Transportation Safety Board 

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Boise, Idaho 

Investigation Docket - National Transportation Safety Board:

Mark L. Lewallen

Location: Joseph, Oregon
Accident Number: GAA16CA429
Date & Time: August 13, 2016, 14:20 Local 
Registration: N53331
Aircraft: Consolidated Vultee BT13 
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Defining Event: Loss of control on ground
Injuries: 2 None
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal


The pilot of the tailwheel equipped airplane reported that during the landing roll he lost directional control, which resulted in a ground loop to the left, a runway excursion, both main landing gear collapse, and substantial damage to the airplane's left aileron and elevator.

The pilot reported that there were no pre impact mechanical failures or malfunctions with the airframe or engine that would have precluded normal operation.

Probable Cause and Findings

The National Transportation Safety Board determines the probable cause(s) of this accident to be:
The pilot's failure to maintain directional control during the landing roll, which resulted in a runway excursion and damage to the left aileron and elevator.


Aircraft Directional control - Not attained/maintained
Personnel issues Aircraft control - Pilot

Factual Information

History of Flight

Landing-landing roll Loss of control on ground (Defining event)
Landing-landing roll Runway excursion
Landing-landing roll Landing gear collapse

Pilot Information

Certificate: Private
Age: 65,Male
Airplane Rating(s): Single-engine land 
Seat Occupied: Front
Other Aircraft Rating(s): None
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): None
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): None
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: Class 3 Last 
FAA Medical Exam: October 1, 2015
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time: (Estimated) 180 hours (Total, all aircraft), 50 hours (Total, this make and model)

Passenger Information

Age:/ Female
Airplane Rating(s): Seat
Occupied: Rear
Other Aircraft Rating(s):
Restraint Used: Unknown
Instrument Rating(s): 
Second Pilot Present: No
Instructor Rating(s): 
Toxicology Performed: No
Medical Certification: 
Last FAA Medical Exam:
Occupational Pilot: No 
Last Flight Review or Equivalent:
Flight Time:

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Consolidated Vultee
Registration: N53331
Model/Series: BT13 A 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Year of Manufacture: 1941 
Amateur Built: No
Airworthiness Certificate: Normal 
Serial Number: 1491
Landing Gear Type: Tailwheel 
Seats: 2
Date/Type of Last Inspection: July 8, 2016 Annual 
Certified Max Gross Wt.: 4670 lbs
Time Since Last Inspection: 
Engines: 1 Reciprocating
Airframe Total Time: 2788.2 Hrs 
Engine Manufacturer: P & W
ELT: C91A installed, activated, did not aid in locating accident
Engine Model/Series: R-985 SERIES
Registered Owner: 
Rated Power: 450 Horsepower
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual (VMC)
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KLGD,2717 ft msl 
Distance from Accident Site: 32 Nautical Miles
Observation Time: 21:15 Local 
Direction from Accident Site: 262°
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Visibility: 10 miles
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility (RVR):
Wind Speed/Gusts: 4 knots / 
Turbulence Type Forecast/Actual:  / None
Wind Direction: 360° 
Turbulence Severity Forecast/Actual:  / N/A
Altimeter Setting: 30.12 inches Hg 
Temperature/Dew Point: 30°C / 5°C
Precipitation and Obscuration: No Obscuration; No Precipitation
Departure Point: AURORA, OR (UAO) 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Destination: Joseph, OR (JSY)
Type of Clearance: VFR
Departure Time: 12:15 Local
Type of Airspace: Class G

Airport Information

Runway Surface Type: Asphalt
Airport Elevation: 4121 ft msl 
Runway Surface Condition: Dry
Runway Used: 33
IFR Approach: None
Runway Length/Width: 5200 ft / 60 ft 
VFR Approach/Landing: Full stop

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 None
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 None 
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 None
Latitude, Longitude: 45.357223,-117.253334(est)


  1. Runway 7/25
    Dimensions: 2710 x 40 ft. / 826 x 12 m

    1. I guessing a non pilot posted this runway information, especially the metric conversion, for some unexplainable reason. Since runway length was not a factor in the accident, it is not helpful. I’m waiting for the investigation to be published.

    2. The NTSB report states this info.