Local Information

Pilot and passenger rescued after small plane went missing near Yacolt Monday

Monday, March 29, 2021 - 22:41

Barbara LaBoe, communications, 360-701-1464 (mobile)

YACOLT – A Navy helicopter crew rescued two people Monday night, March 29, after their small plane lost altitude and crashed near Yacolt earlier that afternoon.

The search crew out of Whidbey Island Naval Air Station found the pilot and the sole passenger near Jack Mountain. The single-engine plane was unable to maintain altitude while flying from Bend, Oregon to the Tacoma Narrows Airport near Gig Harbor Monday afternoon. The plane is registered out of Vashon Island but names and other details of the pilot and passenger were not immediately available Monday night.

The pilot was speaking to air traffic control in Portland and alerted them when the plane’s engine started running rough and the aircraft was losing altitude. Voice and radar signals were lost at 3:47 p.m., but the last-known signal gave search crews a good target for which to search.

The Navy crew found the Piper around 9:30 p.m. and were able to load them into their helicopter and fly them to the Yacolt Primary School parking lot for medical examination. Their medical conditions were not available Monday evening, but they were not believed to be seriously injured and were able to walk to the clearing where the helicopter picked them up.

The Navy helicopter searched by air while the Clark County Sheriff’s Office initiated a ground search. The search was coordinated by the Washington State Department of Transportation, which under state law is charged with the coordination and management of aerial search and rescue within the state.

Media questions about any investigation of cause in this matter can be directed to the National Transportation Safety Board.


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