Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Crash of Cessna Causes Four Fatalities

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A recent small plane crash in Northern California has taken the lives of several family members. The crash occurred on Wednesday, July 27, 2016, and resulted in the deaths of all four passengers on board.

While the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is continuing to investigate the crash, it has published a preliminary report describing the crash. The NTSB reports that the plane which crashed was a twin-engine Cessna 310B, registration number N6605B, reportedly built in 1959. The plane was attempting to take off from Columbia Airport in Columbia, California at approximately 4:45 in the afternoon. No flight plan had been filed by the pilot, and no air traffic control exists at the Columbia Airport. At the time, weather conditions and visibility were good. The Cessna taxied onto runway 17 and began its initial climb. When the plane reached 40 feet above ground level, witnesses described watching the plane stop climbing and begin to drift to the left, before plummeting to the ground to the left of the runway. The plane bounced several times until coming to rest belly-up, and immediately erupted into flames. Chris Miller, a longtime flight instructor involved with the Columbia Airport, described the crash as the deadliest crash to have occurred inside the bounds of the airfield.

The victims of the crash, all Tuolomne County residents, were identified as Mary and Claude Chandler, Mary’s son Daniel Kruetzfeldt, and Daniel’s wife Kristen. The Chandlers had been long-time residents of Tuolomne County. Daniel was a pilot for Net Jets, a company offering private jet services. Daniel and Kristen leave behind three children, aged 10, 12, and 18.

The NTSB is still investigating the causes of the crash. Since the plane was engulfed in flames immediately, an inspection of the component parts of the plane could be a challenge. In its preliminary report, the NTSB pointed out that, while investigators were able to find all major components of the craft among the debris, most of the fuselage was consumed in the post-crash fire.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a California aviation accident, seek legal counsel that understands this unique and nuanced area of the law and can pursue a claim for damages on your behalf, and contact Los Angeles aviation accident law firm Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your claims, at 310-553-6630.

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