Pilot dies in crash at Lewiston airport

Lewiston Fire Department firefighters hose down a single-passenger aircraft after it crashed and caught fire Saturday at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport.

Federal officials are investigating after a single-engine plane crash Saturday at the Lewiston-Nez Perce County Regional Airport that killed the pilot.

Dale Snodgrass was the lone occupant of the SIAI-Marchetti fixed-wing aircraft when it crashed around noon during takeoff, according to a news release from airport Manager Michael Isaacs. Snodgrass’s age and hometown were not listed.

The aircraft came down in a field and caught fire just off the airport’s taxiway Charlie, according to Lewiston Fire Department Chief Travis Myklebust.

The fire department responded to a call at 12:11 p.m. Saturday that a small plane carrying one or two passengers had crashed at the airport, Myklebust said in a news release. Firefighters attacked the fire with a hose line and the airport’s aircraft rescue truck and brought the fire under control in fewer than five minutes. The fire was contained to the airplane and a small area of grass next to the taxiway.

First responders confirmed that Snodgrass was alone aboard the airplane, and didn’t survive.

Lewiston police and Nez Perce County Sheriff’s Office deputies also responded to the scene to assist airport staff with the investigation and proper notifications.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board both were on scene by Saturday night to begin an investigation into the cause of the crash.

Myklebust said the airport closed one runway because of the accident, but the facility was able to stay open to air traffic by utilizing its other runway.