Local Aviation News
April 3, 2016
"Plane was sputtering so put her down instead of risking flying to Murry over the mountains." - Scotty Chandler.
Pictures and information from the Lost Coast Outpost.
See https://lostcoastoutpost.com/2016/apr/2/plane-makes-emergency-landing-highway-299-just-out/ for picture credits, information, and comments.
This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.
On November 21, 2014, about 1000 Pacific standard time, a Piper Aircraft PA-24-250 Comanche, N7428P, experienced a loss of power and collided with a tree while on approach to the Garberville Airport, Garberville, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was fatally injured; the airplane sustained substantial damage. The airplane was registered to, and being operated by, the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. The personal flight originated from Cameron Airpark, Cameron Park, California, with a planned destination of Garberville. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed.
The purpose of the flight was for the pilot to make the routine 155-nautical-mile (nm) cross-country trip to Garberville, where he would stay for a week's duration and serve as the communities' Emergency Room (ER) doctor and the hospital's Medical Director. The pilot would make this trip about once per month and would telephone hospital staff to pick him up after he landed (usually between 1000 to 1100).
There were numerous witnesses that observed the airplane maneuvering toward the airport at a very low altitude just below the cloud layer. Most witnesses estimated the airplane was about 100-200 feet above the tree tops. One witness, located on a hill about 1.5 nm southwest of the airport, stated that the airplane was lower than normal and the engine did not sound if it was producing full power (quitter than normal). Witnesses closer to the accident site noted that the airplane was not emitting any noise. The witness that was the closest to the impact stated that he heard a loud sound of a tree crashing and ran outside his house. He observed the airplane rotate about a tree and cartwheel into the river below.
The accident site was located in the South Fork Eel River about 2,260 feet south of the approach end of runway 36 at Garberville. The airplane came to rest in the water partially resting on a gravel/sand embankment. The left wing was separated and entangled in debris on the south side of the river. Following the accident, the water level quickly rose, nearly submerging the entire airframe. The first identified point of contact consisted of a tree that contained a large gouge on the south-facing trunk area located about 60 to 70 feet above ground level (agl), which equated to about 20 feet below the top of the tree. Numerous branches and several pieces of airplane debris were located immediately below the tree, consistent with the left wing colliding with the trees prior to descending into the river.
The wreckage is being retained for further examination.
A really nice tail-dragger landed on the gravel bar near Hansen's truckstop (near the intersection of Highways 101 and 36) and experienced a flat tire. Sheriff responded and was told that the landing was intentional.
A Piper Tri-pacer crash in McKinleyville left a 33-year-old Chico man with just a small bump on the head, according to local law enforcement officials. Click here to see Times-Standard article. See NTSB report.
Dennis Lichti and Tyler Lewis were involved in an aircraft accident at Dinsmore Airport. Click here for the Times-Standard news item. For Kathryn's Report of the incident, click here. For the NTSB report, click here.
Who would ever want to come here? Garberville and Shelter Cove on the list for airport improvements, is the title of an article in the Redwood Times by Don Aubrey. The efforts of local EAA members to provide camera and communication services to Rohnerville and Garberville airports is the primary focus of the article. Also mentioned is how unwelcoming most of Humboldt County's airports appear to general aviation visitors and local pilots. The title of the article comes from a comment left in the visitor's log at Rohnerville.
WWII Pilot Recalls Harrowing Flight is an article in the Humboldt Beacon by Sylvia Jutilla about Gordon Redfeldt. Also included in the article is a report on the annual meeting of the board members and friends of Avi-8-Cando was held on Saturday, May 2, 2009, to introduce and inform those interested in the developments of the Avi-8-Cando club and other aviation interests.
Two men were lost lost after their rented plane crashed into the sea off Trinidad Head during stormy weather. There was a delay in search and rescue efforts because of erroneous information given to Seattle Air Traffic Control. The North Coast Journal provided this account.
A Diamond DA-40