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EAA Mourns Loss of Sally Wilson


Sally Wilson was an enthusiastic supporter of the EAA Young Eagles program.
Photo courtesy of Andy Bronson/The News-Review

November 15, 2007 — Sally Wilson, EAA 477482, EAA's 2004 Chapter Young Eagles Coordinator of the Year, died in an airplane crash on Friday, November 9, in California. A resident of Oakland, Oregon, she was one of three people who perished as a result of the crash along with pilot Bruce Klein and Cole Black, retired Navy captain.

According to the NTSB preliminary report, Klein's Piper Aerostar, PA-60-602P, N6895Z, collided with terrain in a citrus grove during an attempted emergency landing near McFarland, California. The twin-engine airplane reported fuel and engine problems before crashing into an orange grove.

An enthusiastic supporter of the Young Eagles since the early 1990s, Sally, 57, flew close to 500 kids. She also served as a ground volunteer before taking the Coordinator role for EAA Chapter 495 in 1998. She is survived by her husband, Mark, and their daughter, Alexi.

"We know that she would want every one of her friends to remember her and her love of flying," read a note from Mark and Alexi. "She would not want this accident to discourage any one from spreading their wings and love what she loved to do the most." A memorial honoring Sally will be held this Saturday, November 17, at 2 p.m. at the Roseburg Airport.

The NTSB report stated that the flight departed Roseburg Regional Airport (RBG) at about 0915, with a planned destination of McClellan-Palomar Airport (CRQ), Carlsbad. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and an instrument flight rules (IFR) flight plan had been filed.

Wilson and Klein were flying Black home in Klein's 1981 Piper Aerostar following a speech Black made to students about his seven years' experience as a POW in Vietnam.

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