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Plane crash claims Keyes shop owner

POSTED July 2, 2010 10:33 p.m.

The pilot who died in a Calaveras County plane crash on June 21 was identified as Keyes business Charles Kenneth Swanson, 59, of Modesto. Swanson, who was killed instantly from multiple traumatic injuries, owned a metal business in Keyes.
A positive identification of the body was made from dental records.
Swanson was flying a plane registered to Michael Monzingo of Oakdale when he crashed into a steep hillside near the intersection of Highway 4 and Pool Station Road shortly after 9 a.m., according to Captain Ed Ballard of the Calaveras County Sheriff's Office. Because of difficult access, firefighters had to hike to the crash scene with the Jaws of Life to cut Swanson's body from the wreckage. A witness said the plane's wings were straight up and down and making tight circles before it crashed. The Federal Aeronautics Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.
Swanson, 59, owned Design Metals, a metal fabrication business west of Keyes for the past 23 years. The firm makes tanks, conveyors, plant equipment and custom equipment. He was considered a careful private pilot who loved his adventures flying around the western United State. He was treasurer of the Modesto Area Pilots' Association, a member of the Elks Lodge, and a former president of the Association for Facilities Engineering.
He leaves behind his wife of 35 years, Bonnie Swanson, and two grown children.

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