A well-known and much-admired pilot died in a small-plane crash near Twisp, Washington on Sunday.
Dooley Vanyo is being described by the Alaska bush flying community as the pilot of the CubCrafter CCK-1865, which was registered to Tesla Sunsets LLC of Missoula, Montana. With 186 horsepower, the tail number on the plane was N56DV; it was registered as an experimental aircraft in 2022. Damage to the aircraft was described by Aviation Safety Network as “substantial.”
The crash occurred south of Finley Canyon in hill country southeast of Twisp. Okanogan County Search and Rescue was notified of the crash. Jackson Konrad, who is a pilot at the Twisp Municipal Airport, knew the general location of the crash site, and rescuers worked with local fire and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement to reach the scene. A LifeFlight helicopter was dispatched to the scene.
As of this writing, officials have not officially confirmed Vanyo was onboard, but the Alaska flying community seems convinced of his passing and has been posting memories of him on social media throughout Monday. Don Lee of the Bush Pilots of Alaska Facebook group wrote that the last transmission from Van was, “Still in the air but in trouble.” Devon Day wrote, “he was one of the great ones he will be missed by so many, everyone he met became a friend,” a sentiment echoed by others. Vanyo was also known as a skilled mountain bike racer in his day.
Like legendary Alaska bush pilot Jim Tweto who died this summer in a crash, Vanyo was described as an amazingly generous human being.