PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The 78-year-old pilot of an experimental aircraft died in a crash that critically injured his wife Sunday afternoon near Scio, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office said.
Neighbors in the area of Richardson Gap Road saw the crash around 2 p.m. and rushed to the scene immediately, officials said. Deputies arrived soon and found the pilot, Dennis Jackson, had already died. His wife, Amy Jackson, was airlifted to Salem Memorial Hospital, officials said.
The Jacksons lived in Independence, investigators said.
The “Dennis Jackson RV-8” was a single-engine plane built in 2004 and is listed with the FAA as an Experimental Amateur Built Aircraft. It was a 2-seater fixed wing plane.
Caleb Shockey, who said he’s lived in the area his whole life, said the entire town was shocked and saddened by the news.
“People were hearing Life Flight coming through, people saw it all over. It’s pretty sad,” he said
The cause of the crash remains under investigation. Linn County detectives will be joined by officials from the NTSB and the FAA on Monday.
Events like this have a lasting effect on the community, Shockey told KOIN 6 News.
“Somebody crash-landed not even 5 minutes away, and I was shocked. I feel bad when something like that happens. You can’t help but really start thinking about it, not just the plane crash but the people involved.”