Two men killed Monday in a plane crash near La Center had Camas ties.
Camas resident Milo L. Kays, 73, and Dennis R. Kozacek, 70, a flight instructor at ATC Camas, a flight training and aircraft rental facility at Grove Field, died after the small plane Kays was piloting and Kozacek was riding in as a passenger crashed in a marshy area north Clark County area near the East Fork Lewis River.
A pilot flying of the Daybreak area of Clark County around 4 p.m., Monday, spotted the wreckage and alerted authorities while circling overhead.
Clark County Fire Rescue personnel and Clark County Sheriff’s deputies located the downed single-engine, two-seater, home-built propeller plane in a shallow pond in about two feet of water, and determined both men had died on impact.
Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration are trying to determine the exact time and cause of the crash.
In an April 19, 2018, article, Kozacek described his love of flying to the Post-Record and said he had spent 20 years as a pilot in the United States Navy and 31 years flying with FedEx. He spoke with pride about his then 23-year-old son, Carter Kozacek, who was training as a pilot in the United States Air Force and his brother-in-law, a flight instructor who had flown 757s for United Airlines.
“Flying in general is just one of those things that you kind of get hooked on. It’s the sensation of being in the air and being able to see, and it makes you feel kind of like a bird,” Kozacek told the Post-Record in 2018. “I enjoy instructing. It can be frustrating at times, but it’s very rewarding because usually (you’re training) somebody who has the thrill of aviation like you do.”