The airplane collided with terrain at about 1606 Pacific time, sustaining substantial damage. The private pilot and passenger sustained fatal injuries. Visual conditions prevailed.
While in cruise at 16,500 feet msl, the pilot requested and received an IFR clearance to Fresno from ATC, with a further clearance to 14,000 feet. A subsequent clearance was issued was issued to 7000 feet. The pilot acknowledged the clearance; radio and radar contact were lost soon thereafter. The debris path was over ½ mile long. The first pieces were from the tail section. Both wings separated and were in the middle of the debris field.