An ultralight single occupant aircraft piloted by Lucas J. Campbell, 26, of Great Bend crashed at the Great Bend Municipal Airport Tuesday afternoon. Airport manager Martin Miller said the crash, witnessed by several bystanders, was reported at 1:10 p.m.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, “The aircraft was flying south across the airport at a very slow rate of speed, when the aircraft elevated, then nose-dived and collided with the ground.” The crash occurred on a grassy area across the runway from where a $3 million renovation is being performed on the airport ramp. Martin said the plane would not be released until a complete investigation is completed by the Federal Aviation Administration.
The pilot was transported to Great Bend Regional Hospital by EMS, where he was confirmed deceased at 2:20 p.m.
Temperature and wind conditions are digitally monitored at the airport. Shortly after the crash, the monitor indicated the wind was 18 knots, with gusting to 26 knots, and a temperature of 38 Celsius. That translates to 100.4 degrees Fahrenheit, and wind about 21 miles per hour, gusting to about 30 mph. Martin said he does not know what the exact conditions were at the time of the crash.
Campbell was an experienced flight instructor at Centerline Aviation, LLC, with over 700 hours. He graduated from Kansas State University at Salina with a Bachelor’s Degree in Aeronautical Technology in 2008. His profile on the Centerline Aviation website states he became a flight instructor at Wells Aircraft in Hutchinson, and later took a position instructing for Centerline in 2010.