Catherine (Cathy) Kloess, 61, owner and operator of The Jumping Place Skydive Center in Statesboro, has been identified by Bulloch County Coroner Jake Futch. She was the pilot killed in the Tuesday, December 7, 2021 plane crash in Bulloch County. Ms. Kloess was piloting The Jumping Place blue and white Cessna plane at the time of the crash.
Ms. Kloess was a resident of Zephyrhills, Florida but also had a temporary residence in Statesboro. The plane crash was very close to her Statesboro residence.
The crash occurred around 9:30 pm in a wooded area within eyesite of the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport by air.
Aline Davis, owner of Aline Printing was a friend of Cathy’s. She lived beside her business and the crash site is behind her business on Jones Mill Road. She spoke fondly of her friend.
“Cathy was a feisty lady, so full of energy and life. She was a pleasure to be around and the only thing she loved more than flying was her children and grandchild. She really enjoyed sharing stories about them,” said Davis. “She lived in Florida, but would travel up here weekly to operate The Jump Place. She was our neighbor while in town and was a loyal customer of our printing business. We will miss her and send our condolences to her family.”
Sounds of Distress
In a statement from the FAA, they said the single engine Cessna 182 had departed from the Statesboro-Bulloch County Airport prior to the crash. They confirmed the pilot was the only person on board the plane at the time of the crash.
Grice Connect received multiple messages from people who lived in the area of the crash. They all reported hearing a small plane in obvious distress. Then moments later they heard the impact of the crash and saw flames coming from the wooded area.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will be in town on Wednesday, December 8, 2021 to begin the investigation into the crash.
The 1956 Cessna 182, 4 seater, single engine plane was owned by TJP@Jax Incorporated based in Zephyrhills, Florida.
The Jumping Place Fatal Crash in 2018
On August 25, 2018 a Cessna 182A, N4785D also operated by The Jumping Place Skydiving Center was involved in a fatal crash in Swainsboro.
Andrew “Drew” Swenson, Aliaksandr “Alex” Bahrytsevich, Christopher Eldridge and Justin Duff were killed in the 2018 crash.
William Middlebrooks was rescued from the wreck and spent almost five weeks in ICU before he was released in September, 2018.
Grice Connect extends our condolences to Ms. Kloess’s family, friends and co-workers.