Firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 investigate a plane crash in Agnew on Saturday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Firefighters with Clallam County Fire District 3 investigate a plane crash in Agnew on Saturday. (Matthew Nash/Olympic Peninsula News Group)

Pilot practices what he teaches in Saturday crash

Passenger remains in satisfactory condition in Seattle hospital Tuesday

AGNEW — The pilot of a small plane that crashed in Agnew on Saturday night without life-threatening injuries is a longtime flight instructor who followed his own advice.

“We tell our students that you fly that airplane until it stops, and if you fly it to the ground, you’ll walk away,” said Dr. Lyle Scott Brooksby, a Sequim dentist who has been a flight instructor for 23 years and a pilot since 1977.

Neither Brooksby nor his wife, Karen Brooksby, suffered life-threatening injuries, although Karen Brooksby remained in Harborview Medical Center in satisfactory condition on Tuesday.

The couple was returning to Sequim in a 1964 Piper Cherokee 235, which crashed into an apple tree and landed on its left side in the middle of the 100 block of Roman Road off Shore Road in Agnew at 11:20 p.m. Saturday. The plane crashed about 4 miles west of Sequim Valley Airport.

His wife suffered a broken pelvis. She had been airlifted to the Seattle hospital following her extrication from the plane.

Dr. Brooksby was able to step out of the plane on his own. He was treated and discharged from Olympic Medical Center.

“They keep telling her that they are going to do surgery,” he said of his wife on Tuesday.

“I don’t remember a lot from that night,” Brooksby added, saying he probably had suffered a slight concussion.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the circumstances of the crash.

Brooksby emphasized that, contrary to earlier reports, he had not run out of fuel. He was switching to a full tank after one was depleted.

“The last thing I remember is changing tanks,” he said. “It just took longer than anticipated. I don’t even know why it took that long.

“I said I hope we don’t hit that tree,” Brooksby added. “The FAA said I missed two trees and a wing hit the apple tree.

“The tree ripped the wing off. That absorbed energy” and left the main body of the plane relatively undamaged, he said.

“The FAA said I must have done a good job because most people would have died in that crash,” the pilot said Tuesday.

Brooksby said there were no lights at either the Sequim Valley Airport or Fairchild International Airport in Port Angeles. Both airports are pilot-controlled, so he was not in radio contact with anyone and did not know why he could not get the lights to come on.

“We don’t know what happened. It’s frustrating,” he said.

Andy Sallee, president of Sequim Valley Airport, said he did not want to comment on the incident until the FAA investigates.

“I’m glad everyone is going to be OK and my thoughts and prayers go out to his wife for a quick recovery,” Sallee said.

Brooksby circled back to Paine Field in Seattle and then returned to the Sequim airport, where he thought he saw lights, before the crash.

There was no fire after the crash, said Battalion Chief Chris Turner with Clallam County Fire District 3.

Firefighters provided fire suppression protection, shut off the plane’s fuel supply and battery switches, and isolated the Emergency Location Transmitter (ELT).

Firefighters cut the plane’s other wing off so it all could be towed away on a flatbed trailer by Evergreen Towing.

Fire District 3, Olympic Ambulance, Clallam County Sheriff’s Office and the Washington State Patrol responded to the crash.

The Brooksbys often fly to work at a temple for The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-day Saints in Bellevue.

Dr. Brooksby is 66. His wife’s last recorded age was 39, he said.


Matthew Nash is a reporter with the Olympic Peninsula News Group, which is composed of Sound Publishing newspapers Peninsula Daily News, Sequim Gazette and Forks Forum. Reach him at

Executive Editor Leah Leach can be reached at 360-417-3530 or at

More in News

Etta Street construction to take up to eight weeks in downtown Sequim

A piping and pavement project along the Etta Street alleyway… Continue reading

Michaela Christiansen, 14, left, and Pen DeBord, 14, both of Port Angeles, use a cider press to crush fresh apples into juice and pulp during Saturday’s Applestock celebration in Sequim. The event, a benefit for several area charities, featured food, music, crafts and games in the orchard at Williams Manor B&B/Vacation Rental. Applestock 2023 beneficiaries were the Salvation Army Food Bank, Angel Tree Christmas, Coats for Kids and area food banks. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Pressing apples

Michaela Christiansen, 14, left, and Pen DeBord, 14, both of Port Angeles,… Continue reading

Emily Matthiessen / Olympic Peninsula News Group
The Sequim Logging Show, seen in May 2023, will operate next year as its own nonprofit organization to seek insurance coverage separate from the Sequim Irrigation Festival. Organizers of both the festival and show say it was a pragmatic decision and is similar to what the festival did in late 2017 after leaving the umbrella of the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Logging Show to be separate from festival

New nonprofit formed, but event will continue

Sequim downtown lot to be prepped for redesign with three potential concepts

City purchased Centennial Place property in 2013 for 100th anniversary

Head-on collision injures five people

A head-on collision on U.S. Highway 101 Saturday sent… Continue reading

One hurt when driver falls asleep, hits tree

A driver fell asleep behind the wheel of a… Continue reading

Homecoming Royalty are, from left, Chimacum High School King Gary Zambor and Queen Julia Breitweg, and Port Townsend High School King Ken Llotse-Rowell and Queen Tadu Dollarhide as they were introduced to the spectators at Memorial Field in Port Townsend on Friday. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Homecoming court

Homecoming Royalty are, from left, Chimacum High School King Gary Zambor and… Continue reading

Port Angeles School District student scores inching up

Board hears results of state assessments, approves teacher contract

Most Read