Two local pilots killed in Wednesday plane crash

John Bowman
Emergency crews survey the scene Wednesday, June 12 off Harry Cash Road near Montague, where pilots Lloyd Rugg and Larry Graves were killed in a plane crash.  Photo by John Bowman

The Siskiyou County aviation community and many others are mourning the loss of two local pilots who lost their lives in a plane crash in Shasta Valley early Wednesday morning, June 12.

Two men, Lloyd Rugg and Larry Graves, were killed in the crash of a single engine, fixed-wing aircraft near Montague.

First reports of the crash off Harry Cash road near Hart Road were received around 7 a.m. when neighbors reported hearing a thud or low boom, the Sheriff’s Department reported. One neighbor said they saw a small plane making unusual aerial maneuvers shortly before the crash.

“Upon arrival, deputies found both occupants of the plane deceased,” the Sheriff’s Department reported in a press release.

The crash occurred in a hay field about 500 yards from Harry Cash Road. Emergency response personnel accessed the crash site via a private driveway, which was closed to the public, though an unrecognizable pile of wreckage was visible from the public road.

Rugg, 55, of Montague, was the owner of Shasta Valley Tire in Montague. Graves, 77, of Yreka was the former owner of Frontier Construction.

“They were both well-known and well-liked members of the community,” one bystander noted.

A neighbor who lives near the crash site and heard the impact Wednesday morning while she was fixing a fence line.

“The whole neighborhood and everyone who knew them is just so shocked and saddened,” she said. “I was just in the tire shop last week talking to Lloyd. He was the most kind, thoughtful and helpful person and one hell of a pilot. Both of them were so well-liked and respected in our communities. We are all praying for the families.”

The men were flying in a Glasair II kit plane, which was completely destroyed by the impact.

The cause of the crash is still being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board.