The pilot killed June 28 when his small plane crashed at Vancouver’s Pearson Field was publicly identified Tuesday as business executive Thomas M. Posey.
Posey, 64, of Vancouver, died of a violent incident and thermal injuries, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled accidental.
Posey was president and CEO of Lamiglas, a lumber company that manufactures high-tech fishing rods and equipment.
In a Facebook post, Jose Ruelas, chief operating officer and vice president of Lamiglas, explained how he met Posey and became his friend and business partner.
He recalled their trips together – to Mexico and New York – and described Posey as “one of a kind”, adding that “her laughter was something special”.
“Tom, you taught me a lot. Thank you for letting me be a part of this company. I thought partnering with you was going to last forever. I didn’t know I was going to have to do it myself “Wrote Ruelas. “Fly high in the sky mate; we will miss you.”
The crash was reported around 7:40 a.m. The single-engine aircraft, a Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, 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, Posey apparently made brief emergency contact with flight controllers at nearby Portland International Airport, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at the 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 aircraft then descended to 900 feet. It circled back towards the airport and remained at low altitude until it crashed.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.