July 3, 2011, Santa Paula, Calif., Cessna 180D


At about 2021 Pacific time, the airplane cruised into a telephone line. The fuselage, including the cockpit and instrument panel, were consumed by a post-impact fire. The commercial pilot and passenger were fatally injured. Visual conditions prevailed for the dusk flight.

A witness reported hearing the airplane, which he described as sounding normal, but did not see the impact. Immediately after the engine sound stopped, he observed a fire in the river bed, proceeded toward the fire and observed the accident airplane engulfed in flames. On-scene examination revealed a downed telephone line oriented in a north-south direction. Fragmented airplane components were found west of the line. The first observed airplane-to-ground impact signatures were found about 180 feet west of the area where the line had been suspended.


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