HOOD RIVER, OR (KPTV) – Two people died in a plane crash Friday morning at the Ken Jernstedt Airfield.
The Hood River County Sheriff’s Office says witnesses reported hearing the engine sputter before the plane nosedived into the ground at a steep angle, killing the pilot, Matthew Titus, of California, and his passenger, Ben Davidson, of Hood River.
According to the FAA, the Piper PA-18 Super Cub crashed just after departure from Runway 25.
Family members confirmed Davidson is the chief pilot of the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, which is next to the Hood River airport.
According to the FAA, the pilot and passenger were experienced with land and seaplane ratings. Davidson was also a certified flight instructor and mechanic.
“He flew everything,” Gary Boggs, a longtime friend, said. “He started at a young age and flew float planes, he flew helicopters in the service, and was just dedicated to flying and helping people.”
Family member say Davidson served as the museum’s chief pilot and was set to participate in this weekend’s annual Fly In, which attracts hundreds of pilots from around the Pacific Northwest each year.
While their flag now flies at half-mast, the museum has decided their event will go on as scheduled, saying in a Facebook post Friday night they aim to make this a Fly In the two pilots would be proud of.
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the crash.
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