Scappose, OR 14 Year Old Civil Air Patrol Cadet and Pilot Dies in Crash of Meyers OTW-160 Biplane, Jun 1970
From the June 15, 1970 Columbian newspaper, Vancouver, Washington:
Local man, youth die in plane crash:
Federal Aviation Administration officials continued their investigation today into the mid-air collision that claimed the lives of two Vancouver residents and one other person Sunday during an antique air show at Scappoose, Oregon.
Investigators on the scene were sifting through the wreckage of two early-model planes this morning, but reports from the FAA team were scanty.
The local victims of the crash were Arthur K. Underwood, 47, of 6207 McKinley Dr., and James Gillie Oppel, 14, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Oppel of 5505 N.E. Drexel Ave.
A third person, Maynard Parsons, 46, of Bellevue, was also killed in the accident.
Preliminary reports from witnesses Sunday indicated the crash occurred while several antique planes were flying an oval formation at an altitude of about 500 feet.
Apparently one of the planes flew into the underside of the other, witnesses said.
An estimated 5,000 persons had gathered at the Scappoose Airport for the show. Most did not see the collision.
Underwood, flying out of the Evergreen Air Park, was piloting a restored Meyers bi-plane. He had served with the 101st Airborne Division during World War II, and had some 25 years flying experience.
Oppel, a passenger in Underwood's plane, was a member of the Vancouver Composite Squadron of the Civil Air Patrol. He was one of 25 cadets flown from Vancouver by the Northwest Antique Airplane club as a reciprocation for the cadets assistance during the Evergreen Air Show last summer.
FAA officials declined to say when their findings would be released, but added that it will take a couple of weeks to gather all the information.
One of those who saw the collision was Melvin Blackburn from a farm adjoining the airport.
The accident happened while James Oppel was a passenger in a Meyers OTW-160 biplane, N34324 (http://www.airport-data.com/aircraft/N34324.html). The accident happened about 2:10 PM on Sunday, August 14, 1970. The accident report (http://www.ntsb.gov/_layouts/ntsb.aviation/brief.aspx?ev_id=2812&key=0) indicated that there was an aerial collision with another aircraft, resulting in 3 fatalities.
Obituary for James Gillie Oppel:
Funeral services will be conducted Wednesday for James Gillie Oppel, 14, who died Sunday when the plane in which he was riding crashed near Scappoose, Oregon.
Oppel, the son of Mr. and Mrs. Rollin Oppel of Vancouver, Washington, was born July 31, 1955, in Minneapolis, Minn. He lived the past two years at 5505 N.E. Drexel Ave., in the Hazel Dell area.
A member of the Vancouver Composite Squadron in the Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol. Oppel participated in the Youth Group of the First United Congregational Church of Vancouver and attended Lewis Junior High School, where he lettered in track.
He is survived by his parents, at home; a brother, Timothy, at home; two sisters, Debra and Marcia, both at home; and his grandparents, Mrs. Edna Gillie, Vancouver and Mrs. Harris S. Jones of Duluth, Minn.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. at the Vancouver Funeral Chapel. The Rev. William Graham will officiate.
Obituary for Arthur K. Underwood:
Funeral services are pending for Arthur K. Underwood of Vancouver, who was killed Sunday in a mid-air plane collision near Scappoose, Oregon. He was 47.
A resident here for 20 years, Underwood lived at 6207 McKinley Dr. and was the owner of Art's Barber Shop, 1107 Main St., Vancouver, Washington.
He was born Oct. 3, 1922, in Webster City, Iowa.
During World War II, Underwood served in the 101st Airborne Division. He was a member of the Vancouver First United Methodist Church, the Northwest Antique Airplane Association, the Northwest Banjo Band of Vancouver and the Barbers Union Local 520.
Survivors include his wife, Betty J.; three sons, Phillip A. and Daniel L, both at home, and David R. of the U.S. Navy; a brother, Dean of Hawthorne, Calif.; and his parents, Roy Underwood, of Webster City, Iowa and Elva Underwood, of Hawthorne, Calif.
Vancouver Composite Squadron was in the Oregon Wing of the Civil Air Patrol in 1970. On January 31, 1973, the local squadron in Vancouver, Washington was renamed the Fort Vancouver Composite Squadron and was issued a new charter in the Washington Wing.