November 10, 2004, Santa Barbara, Calif. / Piper PA-32R-301T


The airplane was destroyed during multiple impacts with trees and terrain, and by a post-impact ground fire, at about 2200 Pacific time, some about 17 nm north of Santa Barbara, Calif. Undetermined weather existed at the accident site, in a wilderness area of the Los Padres National Forest. The Private pilot and two passengers were fatally injured during the dark nighttime flight. The flight originated at Bakersfield, Calif., at 2136. Preliminary radar data indicates that the aircraft proceeded Santa Barbara on nearly a direct route. All communications to and from the pilot were routine. The accident time was estimated, based on the loss of radio and radar contact with the airplane; the wreckage was found within two miles of the airplanes last recorded radar position. The aircraft initially struck trees at an elevation of 6630 feet msl, which was a few yards from the top of a ridgeline.


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