TERRE HAUTE —
By all accounts, Rusty Shane Bogue, a Paris, Ill., professional pilot, loved anything to do with aviation.
That devotion came to a sad ending Tuesday as Bogue, 33, died when the small, twin-engine aircraft he was piloting crashed shortly after taking off from the Edgar County Airport. He was headed to Terre Haute.
“It’s a huge hole to fill,” said Jake Barrett of Paris, one of three pilots gathered Wednesday at the Edgar County Airport that had many years of close association with Bogue. “We flew together quite a bit.”
Despite his youth, Bogue had recently passed the one-year mark. That means, if you add together all of his flight time, Bogue had spent more than a full year in the air, his friends said.
“Anything that involved altitude, he could do,” Barrett said.
Bogue attended Indiana State University and worked out of the Edgar County Airport for approximately 18 years. He gave flight lessons, flew crop dusters, pulled airplane banners and flew clients from place to place, his friends said. Any way and every way, Bogue loved to fly, his friends and colleagues said.
Despite working as much as 60 or 70 hours a week flying, Bogue told the Paris Beacon-News newspaper last year that, in his spare time, he enjoyed flying recreationally.
A federal investigation into Tuesday’s midday crash is just starting, but, according to preliminary conversations, Bogue “was a very qualified pilot,” said Aaron Sauer, an air safety investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board out of the Denver office. Sauer spoke to reporters Wednesday on the edge of a cornfield and near the wooded area east of the airport where Bogue’s Cessna 421 went down.
A preliminary report on the crash should be available on the NTSB website in about one week, said Sauer. A full report could take between six months and a year, he said.
Bogue “died immediately” in the crash, said Pete Templeton, Edgar County coroner, who met with reporters at the same time.
Reporters were not permitted to go to the crash site, but Sauer said debris from the incident covered an area about 100 yards in diameter. The fixed-wing, twin-engine aircraft came to rest near a “fairly steep” ridge, he said, adding that the fuselage, wings and engines were in a “relatively confined area.”
“The terrain is a little dicey as it relates to the steepness of the ridge,” Sauer said. “The aircraft came to rest at the bottom of that ridge near a creek,” he said. A tree service from Paris assisted at the scene by removing some overhanging branches, he added.
There were “multiple tree strikes” showing the path of the aircraft through the wooded area, the NTSB investigator stated.
An autopsy and toxicology tests are routine in such incidents, Sauer said. The autopsy was conducted Wednesday morning at Terre Haute Regional Hospital. Toxicology testing will take place at a Federal Aviation Administration facility in Oklahoma, he said.
Bogue flew or owned several of the aircraft parked at the airport, his friends said, adding he had significant experience in the craft in which he crashed. The Edgar County Airport was his “base of operations,” they said.
In addition to Sauer, two officials with the Federal Aviation Administration were also in Edgar County to investigate the crash, the NTSB official said. An official from Cessna was also on scene to provide technical assistance as was an official with Honeywell Engines, Sauer said.
Reporter Arthur Foulkes can be reached at 812-231-4232 or firstname.lastname@example.org
What to know
• A preliminary report on the crash should be available on the National Transportation Safety Board website in about one week, said Aaron Sauer, an air safety investigator for the NTSB. A full report could take between six months and a year, he said.