Sequim residents “Jeep” Larson and Bob Reandeau both were longtime pilots who died doing what they loved.
“This is real devastating. They were two strong aviation personalities. They were very highly respected guys and well-known pilots,” said Sequim Valley Airport President Andy Sallee.
Larson and Reandeau were killed Friday afternoon when their RV-8 experimental aircraft crashed in a field north of Sequim Valley Airport.
National Transportation Safety Board investigators had not begun their crash investigation by Friday night.
Larson received his U.S. Navy wings in 1964 after qualifying on the USS Lexington and USS Essex aircraft carriers.
He flew with the Navy until 1968 when he joined Northwest Orient Airline, where he flew 727s, DC-10s, and 747s until retiring in 2001.
Larson had served as vice president of the Experimental Aircraft Association, Chapter 430 in 2007-2008.
He began building his RV-8 “Strait Eight” experimental aircraft in September 2005 and took it for a first flight on April 25, 2006.
Sallee said Larson was “very conscientious and meticulous” regarding his aircraft and its maintenance.
“He was too good a pilot to have this happen to him, it must have been mechanical failure.” Reandeau had worked for Lakeside Industries and was the company pilot for Westport Marine as well as flying for San Juan Air and Coastal Air.
“He had about 20,000 hours flying and was an extremely good flight instructor.
If you were a pilot on the North Olympic Peninsula, you knew Bob,” Sallee said.
“I’ve done a lot of work with Bob socially. He was a good friend and a big aviation enthusiast. They both died doing what they loved most.”
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