Lights & Sirens

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Category: Aviation


Pilot killed in crash south of Graham identified

The pilot who was killed Thursday afternoon when a small plane crashed after taking off from the Kapowsin Field Airport south of Graham has been identified.

Robert James McDonald, 75, was from Puyallup, the Pierce County Medical Examiner’s Office reported this morning.

McDonald and another man were aboard a small plane Thursday. They took off from the Kapowsin airstrip.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane stall in the air, take a hard right and crash into a large pasture about 300 yards from the end of the runway about 12:45 p.m. McDonald died at the scene from his injuries.


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UPDATED: 1 person killed, 1 injured in plane crash south of Graham

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

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Updated: Pilot reportedly OK after plane crash in South Prairie area

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies and firefighters are responding to a report that an ultralight-type plane has crashed in the South Prairie area.

The pilot is out of the aircraft, Pierce County sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

Media reports stated that the small single-engine plane flipped over as it was trying to land, but the pilot is said to be OK.


One killed in helicopter crash near Olalla (UPDATED)

A 68-year-old helicopter pilot was killed Sunday afternoon as he tried to land at a private landing zone near Olalla, Kitsap Sheriff’s officials said.

The man, who was not identified, was trying to land and pick up a passenger in the 12600 block of Banner Road Southeast just before 3 p.m., sheriff’s spokesman Scott Wilson said. But something went wrong, causing him to crash into some trees, setting the craft down near a house, but not damaging the house or hurting anyone on the ground.

"This guy is a hell of a hero," Wilson said of the way

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UPDATED: Plane down near Thun Field, no injuries reported

Pierce County sheriff’s deputies were investigating the report of a plane down near Thun Field.

Deputies were talking on the phone with the pilot, who said he went down in the brush about two miles southeast of the airstrip on South Hill, sheriff’s spokesman Ed Troyer said.

The pilot is not injured and said he was the only one on the plane. The plane went down around 10:45 a.m.

Deputies were responding to the scene and looking for the plane, which is described as a blue-and-white RV 6 single engine, Troyer said.


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Pierce Sheriff plane lands safely after power failure

A Pierce County Sheriff’s Department plane landed safely at Thun Field on Thursday afternoon after losing power and plummeting 1,000 feet during a surveillance mission, spokesman Ed Troyer said.

"They went through emergency procedures and were able to get it started again," he said, noting the pilot had already selected a landing spot if it became necessary.

The Cessna, which was carrying two people, was near the Tacoma Mall when the failure happened. Mechanics are going over the craft to determine what went wrong.


WSP aircraft finds stolen motorcycle in Federal Way garage

From the catch-up file …

The Washington State Patrol’s aircraft helped recover a stolen motorcycle last week, the agency reported.

The motorcycle was equipped with a LoJack system, a hidden device that – when activated – sends out locater signals. The motorcycle was reported stolen Wednesday from the owner’s workplace, the State Patrol reported.

Thirty-three minutes after the motorcycle was reported as stolen, the State Patrol’s aircraft picked up its signal and pinpointed it’s location to a garage in the 30200 block of Military Road in Federal Way, trooper reported.

Three people were arrested and other

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Search resumes today for missing pilot

Search and rescue folks will be out again today in their quest to find a missing 78-year-old pilot and his airplane.

Thomas Maxwell was last seen Thursday night as he took off from Crest Airpark in Kent in his Piper Dakota. He was reported missing Sunday night.

Searchers have been looking by air and over the ground for Maxwell for two days. Wednesday will be the third full day of the search.

Radar information has focused the search area to a densely wooded spot about seven miles southeast of Thun Field.