Nov. 21, Eagleville, Calif. / Aero Commander 500


At 11:26 Pacific time, an Aero Commander 500S struck mountainous terrain on Eagle Peak, killing the four occupants. The flight departed Reno, Nev., about 10:45 on an IFR flight to Wenatchee, Wash. The pilot requested 12,500 feet msl as a cruise altitude and the sector controller informed the pilot that he was unable to clear the flight to that altitude because the minimum enroute altitude for the route segment was 14,000 feet. The pilot then canceled his instrument flight plan and stated that he was VFR on top at 10,500 feet. At 11:26, the controller lost radio and radar contact.


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