NEWBERG, OR – A tragic plane crash in Oregon claimed the lives of a 20-year-old student pilot and his 22-year-old instructor, while seriously injuring a third occupant. The victims have been identified as Barrett Bevacqua, the student pilot, and Michele Cavallotti, an instructor with the Hillsboro Aero Academy. The crash occurred in Newberg, a small city located approximately 25 miles southwest of Portland.
The single-engine plane spiraled down and crashed into a residential home late Tuesday. The wreckage was found partially inside the house and in the backyard, according to Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue. Emily Hurd, a 20-year-old student pilot and the third occupant of the plane, was airlifted to a hospital with severe injuries.
Bevacqua, a graduate of Lakeridge High School, had aspired to be a pilot since he was two years old. He was also passionate about sports, singing, cooking, and hunting. His father, Matt Bevacqua, described him as a “renaissance man” who “brightened up a room” and “made other people better.” Both Bevacqua and Hurd were part of the Horizon Air Ascend Pilot Academy, which partners with Hillsboro Aero Academy to train students for their commercial pilot licenses.
Hurd, who started her training at the Hillsboro Aero Academy this year, was described by friends as adventurous and determined to become a commercial pilot. Josiah Neale, a longtime friend of Hurd, expressed his disbelief and relief at her survival, attributing it to divine intervention.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is now investigating the cause of the crash. Hurd, who was in the back seat during the training flight, underwent emergency surgery for a broken back and remains under sedation. No one on the ground or in the house that the plane crashed into was injured.
In a statement, Hillsboro Aero Academy expressed its deep sorrow over the accident and extended its thoughts and prayers to all those affected.