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 Vernon C Mitchell

Vernon C Mitchell

Birth
Red Cloud, Webster County, Nebraska, USA
Death 18 May 1980 (aged 53)
Ellensburg, Kittitas County, Washington, USA
Burial Ellensburg, Kittitas County, Washington, USA
Memorial ID 53007413 · View Source
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Vern Mitchell began training pilots in 1961 at Midstate Aviation, Inc. located in Ellensburg, Washington.

On May 18, 1980, Mitchell was killed when the plane he was piloting became obscured by oncoming ash clouds from the Mt. St. Helens eruption and accidently flew into high-voltage electrical lines. Mitchell's family brought a lawsuit against Bonneville Power Administration claiming BPA to be liable for not having provided areal markers across power lines which might have prevented the collision. However, a federal appeals court struck down a lower court ruling and denied any award of damages.

Although Mitchell is not listed among the 57 official blast victims, his death on May 18, 1980 most likely would not have occurred if Mt. St. Helens had not erupted that day. He was survived by a wife, Opal (Kaminsky), a daughter, Marlene Sue Dennis, and a son, Ron Mitchell.

The Vernon C. Mitchell Aviation Memorial was founded to provide scholarships for persons interested in aviation education.


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  • Created by: anonymous
  • Added: 29 May 2010
  • Find A Grave Memorial 53007413
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Vernon C Mitchell (27 Dec 1926–18 May 1980), Find A Grave Memorial no. 53007413, citing High Valley Memorial Park, Ellensburg, Kittitas County, Washington, USA ; Maintained by anonymous (contributor 47293678) .