Jay Uusitalo, whom KOMO TV identified as the man who died when a small plane crashed into a Woodinville home, was an experienced and good pilot, said the man who sold him the Maule M-5.
Tom Wrolstad from Molalla, OR, sold the Maule M-5 four-seater to Uusitalo in 2007.
He called the Redmond man, "an experienced pilot. A good pilot."
"I flew with him and he was a good pilot," Wrolstad said when reached by telephone Sunday. "It's a sad thing."
Uusitalo died, and a passenger believed to be his teenaged nephew was critically injured, when his Maule M-5 four-seater crashed into a minivan parked in a driveway of a home in the Ring Hill neighborhood and plowed into the garage door, according to Woodinville Fire and Rescue authorities.
According to National Transportation Safety Board air safety investigator Tom Little, it is believed that the flight originated from the Renton Airport, but that has not been confirmed.
Witnesses who live a couple of miles away said they heard the small plane sputtering before it crashed, but that the impact was so quiet, that some neighbors didn't even realize that there had been a crash.
Virginia Hanson, who lives across the street, said it sounded like someone dropped a garbage can. She didn't realize a plane had crashed until she saw trucks from Woodinville Fire and Rescue parked in front of her home.
The home's occupant declined to talk to Patch on Saturday about two hours after the incident. Neighbors said the man was the son of the homeowners, who were away. The occupant was not injured and the home remained structurally sound.
Woodinville Fire & Rescue spokesman David Weed confirmed that the teenage passenger was taken to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle with critical injuries. Uusitalo, believed to the boy’s uncle, died at the scene.
Uusitalo is listed as the co-founder and president and CEO of Mobile Experience Solutions, a cellular communications testing firm located on Airport Way in Renton.
The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the cause of the crash was not immediately available.
Little, the air safety investigator with the NTSB, said that the investigation could take six to nine months.
Investigators will examine the airframe and the engine for any clues as to why the plane crashed, including bringing a specialist from Mobile, Alabama.
"Witnesses reported hearing the engine sputter," Little said.
Wrolstad said he owned the Maule for a few years. He said it was a very well-maintained aircraft and it is known as a slow, safe and predictable flyer.
"(Uusitallo) had it extensively checked by a mechanic when he bought it --as is standard," Wrolstad said. "I did the same when I bought it. It was a very safe airplane and had a low-time engine."
"It's really very sad," he continued. "It's a fluke accident."