Friends, fellow pilots and family gathered Saturday at the Newport Airport to mourn and memorialize Doug Nebert who died, along with his 4 year old granddaughter Zoey Wahl in a plane crash in Toledo May 31st of last year. Somehow his step-daughter, April Gleason, 34 of Seattle, managed to survive the horrific plunge as Nebert’s plane crashed into an area of the GP Mill in Toledo. They had just taken off from Newport a short time earlier enroute to Seattle. Witnesses on the ground said Nebert’s aircraft had completely lost power – its engine totally silent as the plane nose-dived toward the ground.
Nebert’s memorial plaque was unveiled by his wife Dee and friend Jim Shaw, the plaque positioned near a hanger where Nebert kept his plane at the Newport Airport. Nebert is remembered as being an expert pilot and was a Senior Advisor for Geospatial Technology for the U.S. Geological Survey and formerly for the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center. Nebert also served on the Newport Airport Advisory Committee. He also owned the Tyee Lodge Bed and Breakfast at Agate Beach.
Friends and fellow pilots said his service on the airport advisory committee was enormously important as the committee charted a course toward the airport becoming more self-sufficient and ready to assume a strategic role in the region’s economic growth and development. Those who knew Doug well described him as filled with vision but also details, a winning smile and a positive attitude. Just a great person to be around.
The National Transportation Safety Board has yet to determine the exact cause of why Doug Nebert’s plane, a craft he had built himself, lost power that fateful day last May in the skies over Toledo.