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No injuries as airplane crashes in Hillsboro


by: WASHINGTON COUNTY SHERIFF'S OFFICE - No one was injured when this 1965 Piper Aztec crashed on takeoff from a private airport in Hillsboro.A pilot learning to fly a new type of airplane crashed on takeoff at a private airstrip in Hillsboro on Monday. Although the plane was a total loss, there no reported injuries.

According to the Washington County Sheriff's Office, at about 4:00 p.m. on March 18, deputies responded to the Twin Oaks Airport at 12405 S.W. River Rd. on a report that an airplane went off the end of the runway. When deputies arrived, they learned the crash involved a pilot in training.

Kathleen Mikitka, 42, from Hillsboro, was instructing Lars Ljungqvist, 26, from Gaston, on his first multi-engine airplane, a 1965 Piper Aztec. Ljungquist has his single-engine pilot’s license.

Deputies learned that during the takeoff, a door came ajar on the airplane and Mikitka advised Ljungqvist to abort the flight. The airplane was not able to stop before going off the end of the runway, however. It went over an embankment, causing the nose and engines to collide with the ground. The plane came to a stop about 30 feet short of entering the Tualatin River.

The damage to the plane rendered it a total loss due to the engine damage, severe fuselage damage, and a severed wing. The Federal Aviation Administration responded and is continuing the investigation.