Kit plane had just taken off when apparent mechanical failure hit
PRINEVILLE (KTVZ) – A Redmond man was killed Saturday afternoon in the crash of his single-engine plane, 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 home-built plane, Gray added.
A witness told NewsChannel 21 at the scene the pilot had brought the Kitfox kit plane to a hangar, unfolded its wings, washed the plane and performed pre-flight tests, making slight adjustments to the air speed 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.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the plane appears to be an unregistered ultralight. The agency does not investigate such crashes because a pilot's license is not needed and they don't need an airworthiness certificate, he said.