A small plane has crashed south of Graham in Pierce County, killing the pilot and injuring his passenger, the Pierce County Sheriff’s Department and Graham Fire & Rescue reported.
Paramedics took the passenger to a Tacoma hospital for treatment of his serious injuries, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.
“He was awake and talking to our crews,” said Tony Judd, assistant chief for Graham Fire.
The pilot died from his injuries at the scene. Both men appear to be in their 60s, Judd said.
The incident is believed to have occurred in the 26400 block of 150th Avenue East, which is between Graham and Kapowsin, about 12:45 p.m. According to witnesses, the plane had taken off from Kapowsin Field Airport when it experienced some type of problem, Judd said.
The weather was clear and there was no strong wind, Troyer said. The nose was up when the plane appeared to have stalled.
“It appears as though it took a hard right into the ground” shortly after takeoff, Judd said.
The plane crashed about 300 yards from the end of the runway in a large pasture area. There was no fire after the crash. However, there was a fuel odor, Judd said.
“The right wing and propeller are in the ground,” he said.
The FAA and NTSB are responding to the scene.
Investigators believe the crashed plane was housed at the Kapowsin Field Airport.
This is the second plane crash in Pierce County in a week.
A 77-year-old man was injured last Thursday when his ultralight plane crash landed in a field near Buckley. The plane had lost power. The plane hit the tall grass and landed upside down.
The pilot had minor cuts and bruises.
UPDATE: An interesting side note to this story…
Among the deputies who have responded to the plane crash is Pierce County sheriff’s Sgt. Nick Hausner. Hausner, who’d been shot in the neck during a deadly confrontation with a drunken suspect in December, returned to full-time duty three days ago, Troyer reported.
Hausner’s partner, deputy Kent Mundell, was mortally wounded during the confrontation Dec. 21. They’d responded to a domestic violence call at a home near Tanwax Lake. They were escorting David Crable, 35, from the home when he pulled out a gun and started firing. Mundell, though mortally wounded, returned fire and killed Crable. Mundell, a 44-year-old husband and father, died Dec. 28.
Hausner returned to light duty April 26 and was doing administrative work at the Mountain Detachment. He was still undergoing physical therapy and awaiting clearance to return to his patrol car. That’s now occurred and, as of Monday, he’s back on the streets.