VANCOUVER -- The passenger was killed and the pilot critically injured when a small plane crashed at Pearson Field Airport in Vancouver late Wednesday afternoon, authorities told KGW.
The passenger in the plane was pronounced dead at the crash scene after bystanders tried to resuscitate him with CPR.
"We all just chipped in and did what we could," said one witness who wished to remain anonymous.
The pilot was rushed to a local hospital in critical condition, according to the Clark County Fire Department.
The view from Sky-8 just after 4 p.m. showed that both wings had snapped off the plane. The wreckage was scattered near the runway on the west end of the airport.
A witness told KGW the plane took off, flew about 200 yards, then stalled, spun and dove to the ground.
"It was a loud crunch," said witness John Larson.
The plane was a fixed wing single-engine aircraft registered to an owner in Vancouver. It was described as an amateur-built experimental plane.
Pearson Field is located east of I-5 and just north of Highway 14 and the Columbia River.
The airport is operated by the City of Vancouver and it's the only airport in the U.S. that operates totally within the boundaries of a national historic reserve.
"I've been with the city for 23 years and I can't remember the last fatality here at Pearson," said Cpl. Duane Boynton of the Vancouver Police Department.