Family believes pilot had medical emergency before deadly crash in Utah County


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SPRINGVILLE — The man killed in a plane crash in Utah County over the weekend has been identified as Larry Irwin Kellogg, 49, of Springville.

His parents and siblings are still processing the tragic event. They suspect he suffered a medical emergency after taking off from the Spanish Fork Airport on Sunday.

"The first thing we thought was it had to have been a medical emergency because he was meticulous in what he did; he loved it but he wasn't reckless," said Stephanie Johnson, Kellogg's older sister.

According to the Utah County Sheriff's Office, deputies received the 911 call at 6:15 p.m. informing them of the downed plane.

"He was very careful in his flying; he was very meticulous," Johnson said.

Johnson said Kellogg gave up flying after starting a family years earlier. However, he took up his passion again after the 2019 loss of his wife to cancer and narrowly surviving a major heart attack.

"After a couple of years, he says, 'I'm going to pursue my dream — I'm going to go back to flying,'" Johnson said. "He says, 'I don't want to live like I'm afraid.'"

Recent flying trips

In the last week or so, Johnson said Kellogg took several family members flying, including his parents, nieces, nephews and siblings.

"He had just done a long trip with his girls and another sister to Texas, stopping at different areas; he had taken another brother flying yesterday," Johnson said.

Johnson said they were shocked to learn of the accident and feared other passengers were on board but felt relieved to learn no one else was injured.

"I was so shaken up last night," said Inga Kellogg, mother to the victim. "But then I thought, 'I better be grateful.' I could've lost more family members if it had happened when he was flying with the kids."

"It was him alone, no one else was hurt, nothing was damaged, it was a field … and I think if he could've picked, this is exactly how he would've died," Johnson said. "He said he wasn't afraid of dying — he just didn't want to live in fear."

Larry Kellogg's family suspects he suffered a medical emergency, possibly another heart attack.

"We don't know, but we think his heart because he knew all the techniques for how to recover if you have mechanical errors," Johnson said, adding that his plane was equipped to land in brushy areas.

Love for his daughters

As they process his loss, Johnson said Kellogg's legacy are his two daughters.

"He wanted everything for them. He wanted them to have opportunities to live, learn and explore just like he did," Johnson said. "He was always there; he was just a really good guy. We're going to miss him, that quiet, solid presence."

The incident is under investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board, according to Utah County Sheriff's Sgt. Spencer Cannon.

It appears Larry Kellogg was flying a single-engine plane. KSL-TV is waiting for confirmation on the plane's make and model.

Larry Kellogg's flight path and how long he was in the air before the crash remain unclear.

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Garna Mejia
Garna Mejia is a reporter for KSL-TV

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