Beaver Oaks, Oregon - A team of skydivers leaped from a crippled airplane Saturday, moments before it crashed into a stand of trees near Estacada. The four trick-parachute jumpers aboard and the pilot survived without injuries. Their small Cessna C-182 crumpled into trees near Highway 224 and burned before Estacada firefighters arrived.
The plane was flying at 10,500 feet over the “drop zone” for the parachutists. Investigators believe the second jumper’s parachute opened early as he jumped, wrapping around the plane’s tail. The plane then began to drop as the pilot lost control.
The jumper, Rick A. Liston, 46, of Clackamas, cut himself free and used his secondary parachute to escape. The other skydivers – Craig N. Wilwers, 50, of Portland; John C. Allen, 49, of Tillamook; and Chris I. Lattig, 42, of Tualatin – then bailed out. The pilot, Travis William Marshall, 23, of West Linn, followed.
The plane crashed shortly before 7 p.m., about 200 feet from Highway 224. Nobody else was hurt.
The plane belongs to an Eagle Creek man and had left a private airfield at Beaver Oaks.
The Oregon State Police and the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating. The state Department of Environmental Quality will oversee the cleanup of a small amount of fuel that spilled into a nearby pond.