UPDATE: Tuesday, June 25, 2013
The pilot of an ultralight aircraft that crashed earlier at the Great Bend Municipal Airport has died.
According to the Kansas Highway Patrol, the pilot of the ultralight was trying to land at the airport in Barton County around 1:15 this afternoon and crashed near the runway. He was then transported to an area hospital with critical injuries where he later died.
The pilot has been identified as 26-year-old Lucas James Campbell of Great Bend. We're told Campbell works at an aviation company based at the airport, and that he had a lot of experience flying ultralight aircraft.
Friends of Lucas Campbell say he only had the ultralight for a few weeks. They say he was flying it for fun but he was an experienced pilot. He used that experience to inspire and teach others how to fly.
Campbell was a flight instructor with Centerline Aviation, located at the Great Bend airport.
"He has produced, I don't know, I can't count the number of pilots that have come and learned and been licensed by him. He's an outstanding instructor everybody loved him,” Great Bend Airport manager Martin Miller said.
"He was more or less kind of a brother to me and his loss today is really hard for me and I do feel like I lost a family member,” Brett Crone said about his friend, Lucas Campbell.
A witness told KAKE News that he saw the ultralight flying very slowly before dropping straight down.
KAKE News has a crew on scene in Great Bend tracking the story. Check back for updates.