ASTORIA, Ore. -- A former Washington state representative was flying to the coast with a woman who wanted to spread her husband's ashes when the plane crashed, according to the Clatsop County Sheriff's Office.
Divers on Friday located the plane that crashed near Astoria on Wednesday. The captain of a cargo ship reported seeing the plane crash into the Columbia River, near Pier 39, at about 4 p.m.
The Clatsop County Search and Rescue dive team recovered the body of pilot and former legislator John McKibbin.
On Monday, divers recovered the body of his passenger, Irene Mustain of Vancouver.
The Coast Guard said the plane was a silver body, red tail, World War II training craft (pictured, above). Divers found it broken apart on the floor of the Columbia River. They planned to recover the pieces of the plane.
Mustain was married to Air Force veteran Terry Mustain, who passed away in October 2013 at the age of 66.
Pastor Steve Briner of First Evangelical Church in Vancouver said the Mustains were longtime church members. The couple had been married for more than 44 years, according to an obituary.
A friend of McKibbin's, Stephen Kelley, told KGW he saw the plane leave Vancouver on Wednesday.
“Last time I saw John, he was in the plane, starting the engine, as I was arriving at Pearson Field somewhere between two and three o’clock in the afternoon on Wednesday,” Kelley said.
“The airplane took off fine, and all looked fine. But I had noticed he had not returned that evening, when I left the field around 6," Kelley added. "I was a little – not concerned – but I figured he was going for an overnighter. Then I received notification later in the evening that it was his airplane that had crashed in the water. In the river.”
McKibbin was also a former Clark County commissioner and is listed as the current president of the nonprofit business group Identity Clark County. ICC describes him as a real estate investor and active community citizen who was founding chair of the group more than 20 years ago.