Klamath Falls, Ore. – There may not be a federal investigation into Wednesday’s fatal plane crash in Klamath Falls.
The aircraft wreckage remains in a field in southern Klamath Falls today, but F.A.A. and National Transportation Safety Board aren’t expected to investigate.
Crater Lake / Klamath Regional Airport Business Manager Linda Tepper explains: “Because it’s essentially an experimental aircraft, and a lightweight experimental aircraft, an ultra-light essentially, that is not an aircraft type that they investigate when it comes to accidents.”
The accident claimed the life of 79 year old Abraham ‘Dutch’ Van Rood.
“He had great jokes all the time.” Recalls friend Mike Angeli. “He was just a personality that was always smiling, and always there – and he was always putting other people first.”
Since Van Rood was flying an ultra-light, Tepper notes he didn’t require a pilots licence or medical certification. “They operate under a different essential group of rules, some of which don’t require pilots to have those types of certifications.”
“He had taken up flying sometime later in life.” Adds Angeli. “I’m not sure when – but every time I’d run into him, I’d ask if he was up and flying, or getting out there – and he always looked forward to it.”
Airport officials confirmed that Van Rood had a hard landing in his plane last fall.
Van Rood blew a tire upon landing, and the plan had to be towed from the runway.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970’s. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.Lyle’s job history is quite colorful.
He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90’s as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience.
“The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story”.
When he’s not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.