A well known Hood River pilot died after crashing an airplane that he built at the Columbia Gorge Regional Airport. That man, Richard Sperling, had been a pilot in the area for years and was known by airport staff according to news reports. Chuck Covert, an airport manager, remembers Sperlings first plane he saw him fly years ago which was more like a kite with a seat and engine.

Sperling had bought his current plane years ago and worked on it for a year to make it fly according to Covert. He also said that Sperling had owned multiple planes of the same model and flew all the time. The crash is under investigation by the FAA and NTSB.