News of a plane crash that took the life of a Utah State University flight instructor, a USU-trained pilot and a current USU student has been deeply felt in the school’s aviation program.
Kallie Edwards Peterson was a highly respected flight instructor in the program run out of the Logan/Cache Municipal Airport. The 24-year-old Logan resident was killed Sunday along with her husband, Tyson, also 24, and J. Parker Christensen of Ogden, the 28-year-old pilot of a Cessna 182 Skylane that crashed on Sessions Mountain east of Bountiful on Sunday.
“It was really tough,” said Aaron Dyches, a chief flight instructor for USU Aviation and Technology Education who knew all three crash victims. “With any crash in Utah it’s a tough go, because there’s always potential we know somebody on there.”
Dyches described Kallie as an “A-plus awesome person” who went out of her way to take care of her flight students. He also has positive memories of Christensen as a USU Aviation student who managed to purchase his own airplane and planned to start a private flying business.
Kallie and Christensen were both USU graduates, and Tyson Peterson was still attending college, though not involved in the aviation program.
According to her obituary, Kallie had just been hired at SkyWest Airlines, where she would have started her flying career with her dad in the E-175 jet. Her date to begin ground school was Nov. 20.
The flight on Sunday was arranged by Kallie as a first anniversary gift to her husband with plans to fly over the Bountiful Latter-day Saint temple, where the couple’s marriage was sealed in the church. No details have been released about the crash, which is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board.
The airplane took off from Skypark Airport in Woods Cross around 7 p.m. Some time later the Davis County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call reporting a crash on Sessions Mountain. A search and rescue team was dispatched to the area and using air surveillance was able to find the crash site that night.
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office said a rumor that the plane exploded in air did not come from them.
Kallie was the daughter of Mark and Kori Ann Edwards of Hooper and attended Fremont High School, where she was a cheerleader.
Tyson was born in Logan to Ronald Peterson and Jackie Gold and attended Chaparral High School in Parker, Colorado. He served a church mission to Mexico, and after graduating from USU in business planned to go to dental school.
Christensen was a Bonneville High graduate and Navy veteran who worked as a deep-sea diver in Seattle and Lake Tahoe after leaving the service. A love of flying eventually brought him to the USU Aviation program.
Christensen purchased his own plane and had just recently negotiated creation of a rural airstrip on Bureau of Land Management land in Southern Utah, from which he planned to serve the communities on the east side of Zion National Park.
Obituaries for all three individuals can be seen on the website of Lindquist Mortuary in Ogden.
A joint funeral service for the Petersons is scheduled Thursday in Hooper, and a separate service for Christensen will be Saturday in Ogden.
A scholarship fund has been set up in the name in Kallie and Tyson’s honor. For details, visit https://www.successfund.com/kallie_edwards_peterson.