December 20, Angwin, Calif. / Beech Baron


At 1550 Pacific time, a Beech B55 was damaged during a precautionary landing in an open field near Angwin after multiple weather-related diversions. The pilot and one passenger were not injured. The cross-country flight originated in Lake Havasu City, Ariz., about three hours earlier with a destination of Placerville, Calif. A preflight weather briefing had indicated clear weather along the route, but the weather started to deteriorate about 50 miles outside of Placerville. The pilot contacted the airport Unicom and was advised that the airport was zero, zero. He decided to divert to Sacramento, where he received a Special VFR clearance. Sacramento weather included overcast ceilings between 600 and 700 feet and two to three miles visibility with mist. Uncomfortable with the approach, the pilot abandoned his landing attempt. He considered landing at Oakland, but in the face of low fuel and heavy rain he elected to attempt a precautionary landing in the Angwin area, about 50 miles northwest of Oakland. The airplane encountered soft dirt and the landing gear sheared.


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