Two Del Norte County Residents in Brookings Fatal Plane Crash are Identified


BROOKINGS, OR., (KIEM) – We have new information on the fatal plane crash in Southern Oregon that killed two Del Norte County residents. The Curry County Sheriff’s Office has released the names of the victims as the investigation continues into the cause of the crash.

Last Thursday afternoon, Cape Ferrelo Fire Chief Aaron Johnson and his crew got the call of a small plane crash north of the Brookings airport.

“When that happens, adrenaline immediately kicks in, then followed by worry and stress. Your emotions begin the second you get your page,” said Cape Ferrelo Fire Chief Aaron Johnson.

When Johnson was responding to the plane crash, he didn’t know what to expect.

“We go out looking. That’s the initial stages, you start looking first. And then once upon location, we found the plane. We worked our way down through the brush to it, and begin doing what we do best,” said Johnson.

The two men in the Vans RV8 plane that crashed are identified as 71-year-old James Penticoff of Crescent City and 62-year-old Charles Kresa of Smith River. 

With the help of two helicopters from Cal-Ore, it took 30 minutes to find the crash site. That’s where Johnson found the plane and the two victims.

“It was a plane crash. I’m not going to get into any detail on that. It was a plane crash, so you can imagine it was a mess,” said Johnson.

The crash site is on private property, so our cameras were not allowed past this gate. When Johnson responded to the call, he told us a victim’s cell phone was ringing. That was an emotional ride for him.

“I mean you go from adrenaline, down to complete exhaustion. And then you have to rebuild and recoup yourself mentally and physically. So your mind is melted, your body’s melted, and then you have to go forward and keep going, another day,” said Johnson.

Monday afternoon, a helicopter lifted the plane out of the area where it crashed. The small aircraft was loaded on a trailer and taken to be examined by the NTSB.

The NTSB and FAA have been on site since Friday investigating the incident. According to the NTSB, it could take nine months to a year to find the cause of the crash.