N62813 Yak-52 Retired Delta pilot lost in accident . . .


Two dead in Yak-52 crash near Vancouver, Washington

Associated Press

A one-engine airplane crashed Friday afternoon east of Vancouver, and a father and son were found dead in the wreckage, state and federal authorities said.

The propeller-driven Yakovlev Yak-52 crashed about 4:30 p.m. in a rural area between Vancouver and Camas on a flight to Vancouver from Klamath Falls, Ore., said Mike Fergus, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Seattle, and Vancouver fire Capt. Kevin Murray.

There was no fire, but the fuselage of the plane, registered to a partnership in Vancouver, was found in two pieces in a meadow largely surrounded by trees, Murray said.

He identified the pair who died in the crash as the pilot, Benjamin J. Runyan, 66, a retired Delta Airlines pilot who owned a private airstrip in the area, and the passenger, Benjamin Runyan Jr., 31, of Houston.

Joyce Morgan, who lives near the crash scene, told KATU Television of Portland, Ore., she heard the plane go down.

“It sounded like a plane that had taken off,” she said, "but it was awfully close. I could tell it was really low when it was across our field.

Warbirdalley.com Yak-52 Info


From the specs page provided by robbreid

Maximum Speed: 223 mph
Range: 310 miles

No post crash fire…yes we might all be guessing fuel exhaustion. K-Falls to Vancouver WA isn’t 310 miles, but it’s pushing it. Throw in a little headwind which might be typical on that route, and you have a flight that should have stopped for fuel at KRDM or something. It’s too bad…looks like another one that could have been prevented.
And the witness saying it sounded like a plane that had just taken off? Either she don’t know squat, or the pilot may have found the last 5 drops of gas before going down.


I wouldn’t be so quick to judge or discount a witness so quickly. Yes, I know there are a lot of wanna bees out there, but we don’t know about this particular person, do you?

Couple of thoughts.

First the witness lives near the airport based on the report and may just be aware how a plane sounds taking off (full throttle, high RPM, makes lots of noise). Don’t even need to see the plane to realize this. She doesn’t even mention the engine sputtering / stalling which would make me think NOT fuel exhaustion.

2nd, there are plenty of crashes that fuel has been found at the scene WITHOUT a post crash fire.

Assuming the area is full of trees as described by the report, it’s possible that the cabin separated from the wings or fuel supply and ended up in a completely different area. Fuel needs a spark. Engine (spark supply) lands away from where the fuel would have dispersed.

3rd, how do you know it could have been prevented based on your statement this looks like this could have been prevented?

Based on what I read, there isn’t even enough to make a fuel exhaustion theory. Now the end result could just be fuel exhaustion, but with what the article provided, there isn’t enough to even think it in my mind. Too many loose ends still need to be tied up.


Sorry Allen… I should have mentioned that I was merely speculating on the fuel exhaustion thing. I found the straight line distance to be 240 miles, which is slightly shorter than I originally thought. But still, in a 310-mile airplane, that extra 70 miles will diminish quickly if they had to make any diversions around the higher peaks of the Cascades (I couldn’t find a service ceiling on that spec page), and/or weather. I’m going to guess the plane is VFR-only. I did find a 15-20 kt headwind component at 9,000’ over much of the route, and also saw some weather in northern Oregon.
Again, it’s all speculation on my part. I’ll be looking for the official reports :slight_smile:


Found some pics


Well…according to this, the Yak wasn’t arriving from K-Falls, but had just taken off.

** Report created 5/7/2008 Record 1 **

Regis#: 62813 Make/Model: YAK5 Description: YAK 52
Date: 05/02/2008 Time: 2330

Event Type: Accident Highest Injury: Fatal Mid Air: N Missing: N
Damage: Destroyed

City: CAMAS State: WA Country: US


INJURY DATA Total Fatal: 2
# Crew: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Pass: 1 Fat: 1 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:
# Grnd: Fat: 0 Ser: 0 Min: 0 Unk:

WEATHER: 2353Z 09012KT 10SM BKN110 18/03 A3004

Activity: Unknown Phase: Take-off Operation: OTHER

FAA FSDO: PORTLAND, OR (NM09) Entry date: 05/05/2008

Interesting, it says crashed in a “field.” My understanding of a “field” is a relatively flat area with no trees. In the pics, it looked like a forest to me.
But that might be just me, too.