Feb. 18, Coalinga, Calif. / Beech 95-B55


About 17:45 PST, a Beech 95-B55 hit mountains near Coalinga, killing the two occupants. No flight plan was filed and local area residents reported IMC with rain and wind existed near the accident site. The flight originated at Sacramento an hour earlier and was destined for Fullerton when the aircraft was lost from radio and radar coverage at 14,500 feet msl, about 20 miles southeast of the Panoche VOR. Search efforts were initiated and the wreckage was found the next day near Santa Rita Peak about 3,500 feet msl. The pilot had obtained a weather briefing that indicated VFR flight was not recommended. Airmets for turbulence and mountain obscuration were in effect for the area with pilot reports of icing in the Fresno area.


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