Brethren Member Killed in Indonesia Plane Crash

“Celebrating the Church of the Brethren’s 300th Anniversary in 2008″

(Aug. 15, 2008) — David Craig Clapper, a mission pilot and a member of White Oak Church of the Brethren in Manheim, Pa., was killed on Aug. 9 when his small airplane crashed in a mountainous area of Papua, in eastern Indonesia. The wreckage was found on Aug. 11 by an Indonesian rescue group, according to news reports. He was the only person on board.

Clapper was 46, and is survived by his wife, Beth, and their five children. He had worked in Indonesia as a mission pilot for 11 years, most recently for Associated Mission Aviation, a Roman Catholic-related agency. He and his family were living in the village of Wamena, in the Papua area of Indonesia. His work as a missionary and pilot included delivering food and school and medical supplies to a number of remote villages.

The funeral service and burial were held in Indonesia on Aug. 14. The family plans to hold a memorial service in Lancaster County, Pa., after their return to the United States. Memorial gifts are being received by White Oak Church of the Brethren, 1211 N. Penryn Rd., Manheim, PA 17545.


The Church of the Brethren Newsline is produced by Cheryl Brumbaugh-Cayford, director of news services for the Church of the Brethren General Board. Craig Alan Myers contributed to this report. Newsline stories may be reprinted if Newsline is cited as the source. To receive Newsline by e-mail go to Submit news to the editor at For more Church of the Brethren news and features, subscribe to “Messenger” magazine; call 800-323-8039 ext. 247.

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