Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash

Jun 24, 2022, 10:13 PM | Updated: Jun 25, 2022, 3:36 pm

MENDON, Utah — Two people died Friday morning in a small airplane crash in Cache County.

Certified flight instructor Blake Shumway and student Michael Carpenter were killed when the plane crashed into a field in the small town of Mendon.

The two were with Utah State University’s Aviation program.

Siblings Madison, Ethan, and Ashlyn Harris were outside near their Mendon home when they saw the plane go down.

“We were just up here at the canal behind our house, just going for a walk, and then just looked up and saw a plane spiraling down,” Madison said.

That plane crashed in one of their neighbor’s fields.

“It didn’t make much of a noise,” Ethan said. “It was just kind of a thunk. You wouldn’t be able to hear it from too far away.”

The three went to go see what it was, not realizing anybody was on board.

“We just thought it was like a toy model airplane, but we just wanted to check it out,” Ashlyn said.

“We thought it was a model airplane because it was so small,” Madison said. “So, we walked over and saw there was people.”

That’s when Ethan ran back home and called for help.

Soon after, Cache County Sheriff’s deputies secured the crash site to wait for federal aviation investigators.

Shumway began working for Utah State University’s Aviation program in September 2021.

Carpenter was majoring in aviation technology/professional pilot and was set to graduate this coming fall.

“I feel super bad for the family and friends that found out today. Super hard for them,” Madison said.

USU’s flight school was closed for the rest of the day.

A University spokesperson said no one was available for any questions but released a statement from USU President Noelle E. Cockett that said, “We are devastated by this morning’s tragic crash and the loss of members in our USU community. Every student and employee is part of our Aggie family, and we know many individuals will feel this loss deeply.”

A call to the Cache County Sheriff’s Office regarding this crash has not been returned as of Friday evening, but in a statement, Lt. Mikelshan Bartschi said, “The Sheriff’s Office offers its heartfelt condolences to the families and loved ones of the occupants. Please keep the families of this crash in your thoughts and prayers.”

This is the third fatal crash involving the Utah State University Aviation Technology program since 2016.

A GoFundMe* pages has been organized to help both families with funeral expenses, one for Shumway and another for Carpenter.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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Two members of USU Aviation program killed in plane crash