Deadly Midair Collision Included Training Plane - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Deadly Midair Collision Included Training Plane

ST. PAUL, Ore. (AP) - Investigators looking into a collision over an Oregon state park that killed a former state trooper said Wednesday one of the two planes was flown by a flight instructor
and student.

Authorities said they aren't sure whether the teacher or the pupil was controlling the aircraft when it collided Tuesday afternoon with a plane flown by 58-year-old Stephen Watson, a
retired state trooper.

Watson was killed when his single-engine plane broke apart and slammed into the ground near Wilsonville. Investigators believe Watson was alone in the plane.

The instructor and student, who weren't identified, landed in a field and walked away from the aircraft without injuries. Their twin-engine, 1978 Piper PA-44-180 was registered to Hillsboro
Aviation outside Portland. Executives didn't respond to requests for comment.

"We're dealing with a tragic situation at this point and we're thankful no one on the ground was injured," National Transportation Safety Board lead investigator Josh Cawthra said.

Watson's aircraft, a single-engine 1966 Beech Bonanza V35, broke apart after the collision, strewing debris over a 1½-square-mile area in and around Champoeg State Park, about 25 miles south of Portland, Cawthra said.

Investigators aren't sure whether the pilots were in communication with each other or with air traffic controllers when the planes collided. The weather was clear and sunny.

Investigators said the tail of Watson's aircraft was found about a mile from the rest of the plane. The nose of the training aircraft was sheared off.

Watson retired from the Oregon State Police in 2002 after a 26-year-career in the Astoria and Tillamook offices. He was working as the assistant director of public safety at the University of Portland.

Watson was a "very quiet, calm, competent leader," said state police Lt. Gregg Hastings, who has known Watson since both started their careers in Astoria in the 1970s.

"He was always a top notch Oregon state trooper and sergeant," Hastings said.

      
 (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)
   

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Spokane Police arrest suspect from hit-and-run crash on South Hill

    Spokane Police arrest suspect from hit-and-run crash on South Hill

    Sunday, October 21 2018 12:51 AM EDT2018-10-21 04:51:56 GMT

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have successfully located and arrested a suspect from a hit-and-run incident on the South Hill Saturday morning. After crashing a Corvette into an SUV near 53rd and Regal, 36-year-old Kristopher Riley fled the scene on foot and left his passenger inside the vehicle. Police say the passenger of the Corvette and driver of the SUV were hospitalized with serious injuries.

    >>

    SPOKANE, Wash. - Spokane Police have successfully located and arrested a suspect from a hit-and-run incident on the South Hill Saturday morning. After crashing a Corvette into an SUV near 53rd and Regal, 36-year-old Kristopher Riley fled the scene on foot and left his passenger inside the vehicle. Police say the passenger of the Corvette and driver of the SUV were hospitalized with serious injuries.

    >>
  • Spokane Valley Police ask for help identifying missing property

    Spokane Valley Police ask for help identifying missing property

    Saturday, October 20 2018 8:22 PM EDT2018-10-21 00:22:23 GMT

    Spokane Valley Police detectives are asking for help to identify some unique items recovered during an investigation. The items are potentially liked to several storage unit burglaries last December on the South Hill. A suspect pawned the items, but a search of reported stolen property to identify the owner(s) has been unsuccessful. It's not known if the items were part of the South Hill burglaries or were stolen at a different time and place.

    >>

    Spokane Valley Police detectives are asking for help to identify some unique items recovered during an investigation. The items are potentially liked to several storage unit burglaries last December on the South Hill. A suspect pawned the items, but a search of reported stolen property to identify the owner(s) has been unsuccessful. It's not known if the items were part of the South Hill burglaries or were stolen at a different time and place.

    >>
  • Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Community honors fallen K-9 Laslo

    Saturday, October 20 2018 9:30 PM EDT2018-10-21 01:30:41 GMT

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>

    Otis Orchards, Wash. Dozens of people came to Ponti Veterinary Hospital in Otis Orchards to pay their final respects to Deputy K-9 Laslo. Some brought the American flag and the thin blue line flag which flapped in the wind. Deputy vehicles lined the side of the building ready to give Laslo one last send off. Laslo had a stellar career in law enforcement the former deputy apprehended nearly 500 suspects in the four years he served on the force. On the night of Laslo's crime-fighting...

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/