In Memoriam – John McKibbin

Posted by Jeffrey P. Jacobs | Apr 10, 2016 | 0 Comments

Mckibbon plan 300x205
This was the plane that John McKibbin restored and often flew out of Pearson Field.

I was deeply saddened to learn of the death of my friend and fellow aviator John McKibbin. On March 23, 2016, John's airplane, a 1941 North American AT-6, the type used for advanced training of military fighter pilots during World War 2, crashed into the Columbia River near Astoria, Oregon.

Not surprisingly, John had embarked on this final flight as a favor to a friend. Terry Mustain was another aviator in our local community, who had passed away a couple of years ago. John was flying Terry's widow out to the mouth of the Columbia to scatter Terry's ashes. Sadly, Irene Mustain also perished in the crash.

John McKibbin served as a Washington State Senator and Clark County Commissioner. He was a former CEO of the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. At the time of his death he was CEO of Identity Clark County, a non-profit organization established to support local infrastructure and economy. John was invigorated by public service for the benefit of Vancouver and Clark County.

He also was a major supporter of the Washington State School for the Deaf and the Pearson Air Museum's youth education programs. When the museum's youth programs were suddenly eliminated by a federal agency a couple of years ago, John was instrumental in the formation of the independent Pearson Field Education Center, through which those programs continue to flourish. John personally mentored hearing-impaired students, encouraging interest in public service and aviation. His hangar at Pearson Field was itself a showplace for historic aircraft, and a friendly gathering place for fellow pilots.

The cause of the crash has not yet been determined. It may be as long as a couple of years before the National Transportation Safety Board issues a “probable cause” report. Weather near Astoria that day was not perfect – overcast clouds, rain showers and gusty winds – but seemingly adequate for the mission at hand. It is reported that fishermen in the area saw the airplane go into the water; their descriptions will be very important to the NTSB investigation.

John McKibbin leaves a wife, two daughters and two grandchildren – and an enduring example of public and private service.

He will be missed.

About the Author

Jeffrey P. Jacobs

Retired Effective January 2, 2017 Licensed in Washington. Partner. Location: Vancouver, Washington Phone: 360-695-4244 Fax: 360-696-0583 Contact Jeffrey Jacobs Emphasis: Jeff, an experienced personal injury attorney has litigated and tried personal injury cases on behalf of injured victims and their families since 1976. Professional Qualifications & Education: Bachelor's degree, Classics (Greek emphasis) University of California at Irvine; Juris Doctor, UCLA School of Law. Professional Experience: Jeff has served clients in private practice since 1976. He joined what was then the partnership of Schauermann & Thayer in 1999. Professional Affiliation: Member of the Clark County Bar Association; Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association; Sustaining member of the Washington State Association for Justice. Served as a court appointed arbitrator in personal injury cases for the Los Angeles County Municipal Court and Clark County Superior Court. Served on Clark County Superior Court Bench-Bar committee and Washington State Association for Justice Judicial Relations Committee. Personal: Jeff and his wife have been married for 43 years and have two grown sons. A licensed pilot since 1968, Jeff worked as a flight instructor and charter pilot before attending law school. He holds a commercial pilot certificate and instrument rating for single and multi-engine airplanes and is certified as an advanced ground instructor. Jeff has often been able to combine his love for the law with his love of flying to the advantage of his clients. Some of Jeff's clients have been surprised and pleased to learn that their attorney could get to them and to court appearances quickly, even in outlying areas, by airplane. Year Joined Firm 1999 Areas of Practice Personal Injury Bar Admissions Washington, 1995 Education University of California at Los Angeles School of Law, Los Angeles, CaliforniaJ.D. University of California at Irvine, Irvine, CaliforniaBachelor's DegreeMajor: Classics (Greek Emphasis) Professional Associations and Memberships Clark County Bar Association, Member Lawyer-Pilots Bar Association, Member Washington State Trial Lawyers Association, Sustaining Member Los Angeles County Municipal Court, Arbitrator Clark County Superior Court, Bench-Bar Committee


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