Whitman County Gazette - Serving Whitman County since 1877

Pilot, passenger hurt in crash near Hooper


August 22, 2019

The crash site was near the intersection of the Hammer Grade Road and the Hooper Canyon Road south of Hooper. Photos courtesy Whitman County Sheriff's Office.

Two men were injured in a single engine airplane crash at approximately 10:30 a.m Friday in a field on the Hammer Grade Road on the western edge of Whitman County.

Sheriff Brett Myers reported the pilot of the plane apparently attempted to land after the airplane ran out of fuel or sustained mechanical problems. The airplane flipped on its top before coming to a halt.

The location was south of Hooper, approximately five miles east of Palouse Falls.

The pilot, Milton Ogden, 82, Kahlotus, was taken to Whitman Hospital in Colfax by the LaCrosse ambulance. He was treated and released.

Tracks in the summer fallow field indicate that the airplane touched down on its landing gear, but eventually flipped on its top.

The passenger in the airplane, Duane Schaefer, 62, Milwaukie, Ore., was taken by Med Star helicopter to St. Maries Hospital in Walla Walla. Myers said Schaefer sustained serious injuries which required operations. They were not believed to be life-threatening injuries.

The plane took off from Kahlotus for a flight to the river, and was believed to have been returning to Kahlotus when the engine stalled.

Ogden put the airplane down in a summer fallow field near the intersection of Hammer Grade Road and Hooper Canyon Road.

Tracks indicate the plane rolled on its wheels for a distance in the summer fallow and then flipped over on its top.

Joe Evans discovered the downed plane, and a LaCrosse ambulance crew responded to the scene.

The duo in the wreck had been using the airplane's radio in an attempt to summon help.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the accident and will continue with the investigation, Myers said.


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