Kenneth W. Van Assche

Kenneth Van Ascche

CHELAN — The pilot killed Monday in a plane wreck is remembered by loved ones as full of life and a passion for understanding how things worked.

Kenneth W. Van Assche, 68, of Chelan Falls died when his plane crashed into an orchard about 6:30 a.m. on the 500 block of Howard Flats Road next to Lake Chelan Airport.

Van Assche had one daughter, his nephew David Van Assche told The Wenatchee World Wednesday.

Van Assche was “always willing to go out of his way to help people” and “excited and passionate about his work and play,” David Van Assche said.

Kenneth Van Assche

Kenneth Van Ascche poses with a plane.

Semi-retired after operating a tractor company for years, Van Assche pursued his dream of getting his pilot’s license last year, David Van Assche said.

Van Assche was a longtime member of the Cascade Drift Skippers snowmobile club. Club members mourned his death on the group’s Facebook page, recounting his kind ways, snowmobiling trips and the gatherings he hosted at his home on the Columbia River.

Rebecca H. wrote: Kenny had so many friends for good reason. "I remember the time Kenny was awarded the 'Sir Helpsalot' trophy designed especially and only for him. Kenny was one of a kind and will be missed by many friends.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.