Sheriff Michelle Duncan reports on October 20, 2022, her office continued to assist in the recovery of a downed aircraft from September near Mount Jefferson. The aircraft recovery presented significant challenges and the USDA Forest Service – Willamette National Forest and National Transportation Safety Board worked with the family of deceased pilot, Wayne Wirt, to recover the aircraft.


The Wirt family was tasked with raising a significant amount of money to recover the aircraft. The call for help was heard by Dave Sparks and Dave Kiley from the HeavyDSparks YouTube Channel who felt compelled to help a family in need. Dave Sparks and Dave Kiley quickly started assisting the family and coordinating the recovery.


With the support of the family, the Linn County Sheriff’s Office assisted the USDA Forest Service- Willamette National Forest and David Sparks with recovering the aircraft. Linn County Sheriff’s Office was there to recover any remains of Wayne Wirt and ensure the value of human life was at the forefront. Two private helicopters from Northwind Helicopters were used to drop off multiple personnel on the mountain and lift the wreckage out of the area. The aircraft is being taken to Washington where the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) will conduct an inspection.


The Linn County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Wirt family, David Sparks, Dave Kiley, Northwind Helicopters, members of the USDA Forest Service-Willamette National Forest and the National Transportation Safety Board. Any questions about the aircraft accident investigation process can contact NTSB Media Relations at 202-314-6100. A documentary video covering the process and celebrating the life of Wayne Wirt will be released later by Dave Sparks on their YouTube channel.