Preliminary Accident Reports

January 2008 Issue

November 9, 2007, McFarland, Calif., Piper PA-60-602P Aerostar

At about 1200 Pacific time, the airplane collided with terrain in a citrus grove during an attempted emergency landing. The private pilot and two passengers sustained fatal injuries; the airplane was destroyed. Visual conditions prevailed. A review of the communications reveals the pilot requested to divert to Bakersfield, Calif., for a "fuel stop." At 1127, the airplane began a descent from FL210. At 1155, the ATC tower at Bakersfield received a radio call from the airplane, declaring an emergency due to engine problems. Witnesses near the accident site observed the airplane flying southbound, with the wings rocking side to side, until the airplane rolled to the right before impacting the citrus grove.

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