Last month’s plane crash explained in NTSB report

Skye Kinkade
California Highway Patrol Officer Jason Smith continues to write a report as members of the Dunsmuir/Castella Fire Department assist in clean-up efforts

The National Transportation Safety Board named loss of engine power as the cause the aircraft crash on the shoulder of Interstate 5 near Dunsmuir last month

The preliminary report states that the pilot, 53 year-old Sung Kwon Kim of Fort St. John, British Columbia, was traveling from Redding to Eugene, Ore., by following Interstate 5 at an elevation of approximately 12,500 feet.

The pilot reported staying at that elevation in order to stay above the clouds, although he was able to see I-5 well enough to follow it.

As he was nearing Dunsmuir at about 5 p.m., Kim reported that he lost engine power, and that during his glide to the ground, he unsuccessfully attempted to restart the engine two times with no success.

As Kim was attempting to land on I-5, the report states the wind became turbulent and gusty as he neared the ground, causing the experimental homemade Long EZE to impact trees. The aircraft then crashed to the ground, coming to rest on its roof next to the interstate.

California Highway Patrol Officers Jason Smith and Brandon Lale were the first on the scene. With the assistance of two truckers who pulled over to help, they flipped the plane on its side, tore off one of the wings and extricated the pilot, who was wearing a seatbelt and trapped inside.

Kim, who was also the manufacturer of the plane, was taken to Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta with serious head trauma. He was released from the hospital a week later and is unavailable for comment.