A pilot of a Cirrus SR22 crashed near Maynard Peak Wednesday. Photo courtesy of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office
UPDATE | Pilot was headed to Olympia from Friday …
The pilot who perished in a plane crash Wednesday west of Discovery Bay has been identified as David William Hodges, 66, of Friday Harbor.
"At this point there is no confirmed cause for the crash," Detective Brett Anglin of the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office said Thursday in an email to The Leader.
The aircraft went down on Washington State Department of Natural Resources land
in the area between Diamond Point Road and the Maynard Peak radio site.
Hodges was believed to have been flying from Friday Harbor to Olympia.
"It is suspected at this point in time that fog may have been the cause, or contributed to the crash," Anglin added. "There was a significant fog bank in the area at the time, limiting visibility for our rescue crews."
Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration were at the crash site Thursday conducting an investigation.
The aircraft was identified as a Cirrus SR22, a single-engine four- or five-seat composite aircraft built by Cirrus Aircraft of Duluth, Minnesota.
"These incidents are always tragic event for the family involved, the first responders, and the neighbors who witnessed the event," Anglin added. "The quick actions by the community to report their observations proved vital in narrowing down the location of this scene."
Authorities earlier said a witness near the suspected crash site gave an excellent description of where they thought the plane had gone down, with the presumed crash location about a mile away in thick-forested land.
The Clallam County Fire District and Clallam County Sheriff’s Office initially responded to the report in the Blyn/Gardiner area.
The response included a fire engine and aid car from the Diamond Point station, an engine with medic from the Blyn station, and a rescue truck and medic unit from the Sequim station.
The Clallam County Sheriff’s Office search-and-rescue team, as well as a search-and-rescue helicopter from Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, were also requested.
Deputies from the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office arrived on scene quickly and added two unmanned aerial vehicles, better known as drones, to the search. Meanwhile, both the Clallam and Jefferson County search-and-rescue teams staged and prepared to look for the downed aircraft.
It was determined the crash site was likely in Jefferson County, so a unified command was established with Jefferson County Sheriff's Office and the fire district.
Shortly thereafter the search-and-rescue helicopter arrived and took over the aerial search.
Fog in the area hampered the view, but when a break in weather occurred, the helicopter was able to locate the crash site between Diamond Point Road and the Maynard Peak radio site and lower crews down.
A single victim was found, and the body was recovered and flown from the site.
Crews then entered the crash site on foot to conduct a search to confirm that there were no additional victims.
"As the responding duty chief, I was very impressed with the level of assistance, co-operation, coordination and expertise shown by all of the responders,” Andrews said.
”Several community members with local knowledge were also a great help in locating and accessing the crash site as quickly as we did. The effectiveness of this operation was due to everyone truly working together towards a common objective,” he added.
The Jefferson County coroner will determine the cause of death.
No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here