June 30, Ojai, Calif. / Beech Bonanza


At about 1100 Pacific time, two airplanes, a Beech S-35 and a Beech V-35A, crashed while maneuvering in loose formation near Ojai. Each of the airplanes carried three people, with all six being killed. The airplanes were involved in a group that routinely gathered on weekends for local flights. On the day of the accident, eight airplanes took part. The group formed up at 4,500 feet and flew around for about 25 minutes, at which point the lead instructed the formation to separate and follow in trail. The lead and the number two airplane stayed in formation, with the second airplane on the right wing. The rest of the airplanes followed in loose trail as the leader maneuvered in a serpentine manner. A witness reported the two lead airplanes separated from the rest of the group, descended to an estimated 500 to 1,000 feet agl, and proceeded up a canyon. A few moments later, the witness observed smoke and a fire.


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