Tuesday, November 12, 2002
The life of a Hood River entrepreneur will be celebrated by friends and family during a special service at 11 a.m. on Saturday in the Columbia Gorge Hotel.
Jeffrey Bunch, 42, died on Nov. 5 when the small airplane he was piloting lost power during a business trip and crashed about 10 miles northwest of Bozeman, Mont.
The owner of LVS Capital Management moved to Hood River almost four years ago with his wife Patricia, who owns the downtown Bikram Yoga studio. Ten months ago, the couple welcomed their daughter, Payton Kimberly, into the world and Patricia said Jeffrey enthusiastically settled into the role of fatherhood. In fact, she said her husband enjoyed life to the fullest, from windsurfing and snowboarding to engaging in lively debates with friends over the political issues of the day.
“He was just always going, I think one of the reasons we made such an impact on the town was because he was so social,” said Patricia.
The last transmission from Bunch to the Gallatin Field air traffic controllers in Montana was that he was experiencing power failure. According to reports, Airport Director Ted Mathis then asked Bunch if he was going to declare an emergency and was told, “I don’t know.” Moments later, the private plane crashed into a wheat field about 10 miles northwest of Bozeman.
A witness to the wreck said the craft flew in low over a wheat field about three miles southeast of the airport and then turned upside down before hitting the ground about 4:30 p.m.
It exploded upon impact, sending up flames and black smoke. Bunch was pronounced dead at the scene. His flight plan showed that he had taken off from an airport near Minneapolis, Minn., on Nov. 5 and was scheduled to land at Bozeman. The single-engine plane that Bunch was flying was a Lancair IV that is sold as a kit. The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation to determine the cause of the crash.