The pilot killed June 28 when his small plane crashed at Vancouver’s Pearson Field was publicly identified Tuesday as business executive Thomas M. Posey.
Posey, 64, of Vancouver, died of blunt force and thermal injuries, according to the Clark County Medical Examiner’s Office. His death was ruled an accident.
Posey was the president and CEO of Lamiglas, a Woodland company that manufactures high-tech fishing rods and equipment.
In a Facebook post, Jose Ruelas, operations manager and vice president of Lamiglas, spoke of how he met Posey and became his friend and business partner.
He recalled their travels together — to Mexico and New York — and described Posey as “one of a kind,” adding that “his laugh was something special.”
“Tom you taught me a lot. Thank you for allowing me to be part of this company. I thought being a partner with you was going to be forever. I didn’t know that I was gonna have to do this on my own,” Ruelas wrote. “Fly high In the skies buddy; you will be missed.”
The crash was reported at about 7:40 a.m. The single-engine plane, a Beechcraft 35 Bonanza, caught fire on impact. The Vancouver Fire Department extinguished the fire and confirmed the aircraft’s only occupant had died.
Just before the crash, Posey apparently made brief emergency contact with flight controllers at nearby Portland International Airport, according to emergency radio traffic monitored at The Columbian. Pearson, a general aviation airport, does not have a control tower.
The plane took off from Pearson Field at 7:24 a.m. and crashed at 7:37 a.m., according to FlightAware, a website which tracks aircraft and flight data.
After taking off to the east, the plane reached an altitude of 3,200 feet as it banked west. Then, the plane descended to 900 feet. It circled back toward the airport and remained at a low altitude until it crashed.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.