Plane crash kills Vancouver man’s son, grandson

Plane went down in Snohomish County

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A Vancouver man lost his son and grandson Friday in a crash of their small plane into a steep ridge in a wilderness area east of Arlington in Snohomish County.

The pilot of the plane was Matthew Annis, who lives in the Deer Park area north of Spokane, said Linda Shaw, a friend of the family who lives in Vancouver. Shaw said she couldn’t recall the name of the boy who was killed, but estimated his age at 9 or 10.

The pilot’s father and the boy’s grandfather is Terry Annis, who lives in Vancouver, Shaw said. Shaw said she and Terry Annis are affiliated with the Rose City Yacht Club.

The single-engine Piper PA 22 reportedly left an airstrip at Elk Heights in Spokane County on Friday evening and never made it to the occupants’ planned destination in Arlington.

The annual Arlington Fly-In for general aviation aircraft was held at the airport there through Sunday, drawing single-engine and performance aircraft from throughout the region and Canada.

When the plane didn’t arrive at the air show, a friend alerted authorities. On Saturday, the crash site was spotted from the air, in an area too treacherous for rescuers to reach immediately.

On Sunday, search-and-rescuers with advanced mountaineering skills were flown by helicopter to the scene, a sheriff’s official said. Rescuers had to use ropes to reach the crash site. They recovered the bodies Sunday morning.

Much of the information for this story comes from The Spokesman-Review, The Everett Herald and the Seattle Times.

FAA records show that Elk Heights airstrip is owned by Matthew and Nanine Annis and that Matthew Annis is the owner of the 1953 Piper PA 22.

Matthew Annis was a certificated private pilot licensed to fly single-engine planes that land on land, not water, according to a search of the FAA website.

He also was an FAA-certificated airframe and powerplant mechanic.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

John Branton: 360-735-4513 or john.branton@columbian.com.