A pilot was killed when a small plane crashed into the southeast corner of the runway at Vancouver’s Pearson Field airport on Tuesday morning.
The crash was reported around 7:40 a.m. The single-engine aircraft caught fire on impact.
The Vancouver Fire Department extinguished the fire and confirmed that the sole occupant of the plane was deceased.
Just before the crash, the pilot apparently made brief emergency contact with flight controllers at nearby Portland International Airport, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at Columbian. Pearson, a general aviation airport, does not have a control tower.
The plane took off from Pearson Field at 7:24 a.m. and crashed at 7:37 a.m., according to FlightAware, a website that tracks aircraft and flight data.
After taking off heading east, the aircraft reached an altitude of 3,200 feet as it banked to the west. The plane then descended to 900 feet. It circled back towards the airport and remained at low altitude until it crashed.
The plane, a Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, was registered in the name of a local man, according to FlightAware.
The identity of the victim is withheld pending notification of the family.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash. The Vancouver Police Department is investigating the death.
The 140-acre Pearson Field Airport is owned and operated by the City of Vancouver and is the oldest operating airfield in the Northwest. Pearson’s history dates back to 1905.