See Exclusive Photos of Plane Crash, Aircraft Stolen by Richland Man
A 59-year-old Richland man is said to be in critical condition after allegedly stealing and airplane from the Jefferson County Airport in Port Townsend, WA, then crashing it in the woods near the tiny town of LaPush.
Jefferson County Deputies reported on Tuesday a suspicious man tried to rent a plane (single engine Cessna 150) from the airport, but could not show proof of a valid pilot's license. Then later that night, around 10:30PM the owner of the plane reported it had been stolen. According to GPS security equipment on the plane, it was located airborne about 20 miles north of Hoquiam, WA. Then, the GPS transmissions stopped.
About that same time, a resident near LaPush WA reported a possible plane crash in the forest. Search and rescue crews were not able to locate any wreckage, but Wednesday morning Sheriff's crews were aided by a US Navy helicopter crew located the downed plane with pilot still on board in critical condition.
The man, identified as Richard R. Jordal of Richland, was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle where he is still listed as critical.
Sources say security camera footage saw a suspect, presumably Jordal, breaking into an office and stealing a log book and some keys before the plane went missing. Jefferson County officials say Jordal did not have a pilots license or insurance, he only had a student pilot's license.
Officials say he made it about 100 miles from where the plane was originally stolen. No word on what kind of charges he will be facing. These images are from the Jefferson County Sheriff at the crash site.