Plane registered to Copper Mountain Aviation crashes, burns in Washington State after wings fall off during test


A plane registered to Copper Mountain Aviation in Anchorage that was testing out a new cargo modification crashed and burned in Snohomish County, Washington on Friday morning. A wing appeared to have come off the plane and landed at a distance from the main fiery crash. The plane crash killed two four people onboard.

The crash occurred just before 10:30 a.m. Pacific time in a field near State Route 2 and Westwick Road. The aircraft was a 2021 Cessna 208B Caravan, tail number N2069B, that had left the Renton Municipal Airport and had been flying around eastern Snohomish County for about an hour. Observers said it was doing slow-speed maneuvers and accelerated stalls before the wings fell off. The plane was manufactured by Textron Aviation.

Investigators from the National Transportation and Safety Board will investigate.

Copper Mountain Aviation is owned by the same people who own Lake and Pen Airlines. An earlier version of this story mistakenly said the plane was registered to Lake and Penn Aviation.

According to the FAA, the plane is registered to Copper Mountain Aviation LLC of Anchorage and flies out of Merrill Field in Anchorage.

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  1. Every pilot’s nightmare–and in this case–every maintenance techs nightmare… The two onboard have gone to the other side. But those that worked on the plane (and designed this modification) will have this tragedy haunt them for life. My heart goes out to them.

  2. Yeppers – Lower the standards, face the consequences. So sorry for the loss of life. Regarding standards and off-topic: Last May I witnessed a chilling scene on the residential airport where I’ve lived for 41 years and flew my own aircraft, where youngsters were playing fetch with four large dogs on a restricted area next to the airport. Did the new homeowners not know or did they just not care? I did not react kindly when an aircraft aborted a landing when the dogs were running all over the place.

  3. I have seen this plane in King Salmon with a cargo door on the side. Probably the modification that failed. There had to be earlier test flights that fatigued the welds, or framing. Hard to believe there would be people 4 on an initial test flight

  4. Suzanne, I kindly ask you to issue a redaction of this article as Lake and Peninsula Airlines had nothing to do with this accident. Copper Mountain Aviation had leased that aircraft to a company in Washington for flight testing and was not involved in the operation of the aircraft. Your defamatory addition of Lake and Peninsula Airlines is troubling to me and false. Please remove Lake and Peninsula Airlines from any previous or future news relating to this tragedy. I would appreciate an apology for including Lake and Peninsula Airlines in this story.

    • Lake and Peninsula Airlines had nothing to do with this accident
      – L Wilder

      According to the FAA, the plane is registered to Copper Mountain Aviation LLC of Anchorage
      – FAA

      Copper Mountain Aviation is owned by the same people who own Lake and Pen Airlines
      – Public Record

      I think anyone can understand that the owner of Lake and Pen would like to distance himself from the misfortune. Your comments are a bit accusatory and a bit misleading but given the circumstances that can be overlooked. You state clearly that a third party had leased the plane for flight testing and that’s a somewhat unusual step for a relatively newly built aircraft. Do you mind sharing why flight testing would have been merited?

    • The story on news in Washington popped up as Lake & pen Lyle. Hard to escape our airplane ownership anymore. Sorry to hear about the entire situation. I was afraid to know who the crew was and am happy it wasn’t any of you.

    • We’re just learning now that the plane was leased to Raisbeck Engineers out of Seattle. Two test pilots, a flight test director and an instrumental engineer were on the flight. They were on a test flight to record baseline data before modifying the plane for cargo, the company reports.

  5. What most professional aviators should take away from this is the fragility of your airframe, be it from accidentally exceeding a design limitation or(on very few occasions) a maintenance issue. Plus on many occasions with an older aircraft, how many times has the plane’s design limits been exceeded in the past and not reported. Newer planes are designed by a computer to save weight and there is not the amount of overkill in the design as in early aviation. Pushing the design limits is the purpose of a test flight, but I have flown with pilots who consider it routine. Most companies limit test flights to essential crew only, for good reason. We used to draw straws for who does a test flight after major maintenance and for good reason. But everyday flying, if you pretend that your wings are glass and avoid stressing them, you can count on a longer career. But they will probably fail anyway because of the actions of the cowboy who flew the plane last, if you have one of those, especially the ones who make no effort to avoid known turbulence, or to mitigate it. But a test flight is a test flight and I am sure sorry for the loss. Hope the investigators can find the actual cause so it can be avoided in the future.

    • Amen! Back in the day, as a fledgling female aviatrix I was laughed off the planet by a number of cowboys because I flew a light aircraft that was little more than a kite with a 180 hp engine, although it was certified for aerobatics, and I refused to fly in bad weather. These aircraft were old in their time, some 30 years ago. Airframe stress in severe turbulence was one of my main concerns back then, and it still is now. These old supercubs and citabrias have had a lot of airframe time. Now, what are the standards? Who is paying attention? Just my two cents.

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