By Laura Guido
A plane crash at Whidbey Airpark in Langley Saturday morning has resulted in at least one fatality, according to a statement from the Island County Sheriff’s Office.
The male occupant of a two-seat “experimental aircraft” was found deceased at the scene and a woman was airlifted to Harborview Medical Center in critical condition, according to the statement. The Island County Coroner’s Office has identified the man as 63-year-old Marc Drake of Everett. As of 6:45 p.m. Saturday night, the woman was still in critical condition.
At 11:16 a.m. on Jan. 12, personnel from South Whidbey Fire/EMS, the sheriff’s office and Langley Police Department responded to an aircraft down just off the Porter Field runway. Unsure of the exact crash site, fire officials asked another plane to circle above to help them find the location, according to a report from South Whidbey Fire. Responders had to use chainsaws and other tools to navigate the heavy brush that reached over 10 feet high in areas. Members of the Holmes Harbor Rod and Gun Club helped clear the path. The strong smell of the aircraft’s fuel helped guide the team to the site, the report states.
There was no fire at the scene. The crew removed the severely-injured woman onto a manual transport cart and carried her to a helicopter.
The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board have been notified, and NTSB will conduct the investigation into the cause of the crash.