A plane crash that killed a local pilot and a student is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The accident, involving Todd Norrish, 47, of Camas, and Jimmy Kravets, 17, of Vancouver, occurred near Goble, Ore. Their bodies were found by deputies with the Columbia County Sheriff’s Office Thursday, at 3:38 a.m. The crash occurred Wednesday evening.
The Sheriff’s Office received notification through Columbia 911 that a cell phone associated with a missing pilot was “pinging” in the area between Deer Island and Goble just before midnight.
Columbia 911 dispatchers, along with Columbia River Fire and Rescue personnel, members of the Oregon State Police, the Clark County Sheriff’s Office and the U.S. Coast Guard, assisted with the search and rescue effort.
“Clark County sent a marine patrol unit specially equipped for thermal imaging, and the Coast Guard was also en route with thermal imaging equipment when we located the downed aircraft,” Columbia County Sheriff Jeff Dickerson said.
The crash scene was investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and the NTSB, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office.
Kurt Anderson, an air safety investigator with the NTSB, said Monday it has not been determined who was flying when the accident occurred.
“The flight instructor could have been demonstrating something or the student could have been practicing a maneuver,” Anderson said. “We might be able to determine that from the autopsies.”
The Cessna aircraft was owned by Aero Maintenance Flight Center, of Pearson Airport, in Vancouver. Norrish was a flight instructor for Aero Maintenance.
The flight originated from Pearson, Wednesday, at 4:20 p.m.
“We are trying to determine where they planned to go,” Anderson said. “We know they took off North to Scappoose, [Ore.], and Battle Ground and went north from there.”
It will take quite a while to determine the cause of the accident.
“We have to review the aircraft maintenance records, the pilot records, the weather, the radar information, autopsies and toxicology examinations and whether the individuals had any medications or carbon monoxide in their systems or ethanol,” Anderson said. “A leakage of carbon monoxide to the cockpit can affect a pilot’s ability to fly. We will check to make sure they did not have drugs in their systems — prescription or any other kind. There is a lot of data that needs to be gathered. It will take several months to get to the probable cause.”
Kravets had taken an introductory flight in August 2011 and recently soloed.Anderson said a complete “tear down” of the plane and its components has occurred.
“Up until this point, we have not found any issues with the aircraft,” he said. “We are not totally finished with that yet. The tear down included a disassembly of the components of the aircraft, flight control system, engine and components of the engine, including engine accessories.”
Norrish, owner of Cold Creek Construction Consulting, had been an assistant coach for the Washington Soccer Academy “Crush,” an under-14 girls team. He had also worked as a sky dive pilot and Camas school bus driver.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Norrish family can be made to the Todd Norrish Memorial Fund at any U.S. Bank location, or by contributing to a PayPal account using the email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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