Waterfowl Community Mourns Loss of FWS Biologists

Ray Bentley

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service pilot biologist Ray Bentley, 52, and his observer David Pitkin, 49, were killed when their plane crashed into a forested area near Philomath, Oregon, on January 17. The two were participating in the annual midwinter waterfowl surveys when the accident occurred. Benton County sheriff's deputies say they found the wreckage of the Cessna after it failed to arrive in Corvallis, Oregon.

Bentley was a veteran of aerial waterfowl surveys, having flown the May waterfowl breeding ground surveys in the western Dakotas and eastern Montana for eight years. Pitkin was a former FWS employee who was working the midwinter survey on contract with the Service. No information is currently available on the cause of the crash.

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