Thursday, July 28, 2016

Cessna 310B, N6605B: Fatal accident occurred July 27, 2016 at Columbia Airport (O22), Tuolumne County, California


FAA Flight Standards District Office:  FAA Fresno FSDO-17

NTSB Identification: WPR16FA152
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Wednesday, July 27, 2016 in Columbia, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 310B, registration: N6605B
Injuries: 4 Fatal.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On July 27, 2016, about 1645 Pacific daylight time, a twin-engine Cessna 310B airplane, N6605B, sustained substantial damage following a loss of control during takeoff at the Columbia Airport (O22), Columbia, California. The pilot and three passengers sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was being operated by the pilot as a personal cross-country flight under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and no FAA flight plan was filed.

Witnesses stated that they saw the airplane taxi onto runway 17 for departure. During the initial climb, about 40 feet above ground level, the airplane stopped climbing and started drifting to the left. The witnesses said that the airplane then descended and impacted off the left side of the runway near the general aviation ramp and immediately burst into flames. 

The initial point of impact was located at the southwest corner of the airport parking ramp, just off the paved surface. From the initial point of impact, the airplane traveled on a 172 degree magnetic bearing about 250 feet before coming to rest at the north edge of the helicopter parking area. All major components of the airplane were located in the debris path. A majority of the airplane fuselage was consumed by the post-impact fire. 

The airplane was powered by two Continental Motors O-470 engines, that had been modified by the addition of a fuel injection system. A detailed examination of the engines are pending.

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email,  and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email

Columbia, CA — Tuolumne County Sheriff’s officials have released the names of the four victims who died in the crash landing at Columbia Airport now that all family members have been notified of the tragic situation.

As first reported here, around 4:45 p.m. on Wednesday the private plane, a Cessna, crashed and caught on fire with the flames spreading to nearby vegetation.  The National Transportation Safety Board is heading the investigation into what caused the aircraft to crash.

The sheriff’s office reports the deceased were two married couples who were positively identified through dental records. They are:

43 years old
Pilot, seated left front in plane Married to Kristin Kruetzfeldt
Employed as commercial pilot

44 years old
Seated left rear in plane
Married to Daniel Kruetzfeldt (Daniel and Kristen share three children together.)

CHANDLER, Claude Ernest
69 years old
Seated right front on plane
Retired from Sierra Conservation Center
Married to Mary Chandler, Step-father to Daniel Kruetzfeldt

CHANDLER, Mary Lynne
71 years old
Seated right rear in plane
Married to Claude Chandler
Mother of Daniel Kruetzfeldt

Sheriff’s officials report both couples lived in Tuolumne County; the Kruetzfeldts in Sonora; the Chandlers outside of Tuolumne City.

The victims of a fatal plane crash in Columbia on Wednesday have been identified as a Sonora family.

Daniel Kruetzfeldt, pilot of the 1958 Cessna 310B that crashed during landing at the Columbia airport, was with his wife, Kristin Kruetzfeldt; mother, Mary Chandler; and stepfather, Claude Chandler. All died at the scene after the plane veered off the runway into vegetation and caught fire.

Mary Chandler’s brother, Tom Parrington, identified the victims Thursday.

He didn’t know where they’d gone Wednesday, but said Daniel Kruetzfeldt was a professional pilot who had worked for the corporate jet charter Net Jets for at least 20 years.

Parrington said his 43-year-old nephew graduated from Sonora High School and had had his pilot’s license since graduating from college at San Jose State University.

Mary Chandler was Parrington’s only sister. She had one other son, Keith Kruetzfeldt, who could not be reached for comment.

“We were a small family and this wiped out about a third (of it),” Parrington said. “I was fortunate to have (Mary) join me on a hike just two weeks ago.”

Mary Chandler, 72, loved the outdoors.

“She always maintained herself very well; she was slim and athletic,” Parrington said. “She could hike 10 miles with no problem at all.”

She and husband Claude Chandler, 69, enjoyed backpacking and camping. Claude Chandler was an expert fisherman, Parrington said.

He said his sister raised sheep and had a “small herd of geriatric llama,” which she sometimes brought on backpacking trips to haul their equipment.

Parrington said Mary Chandler was an excellent wood carver who carved life-size animals. She’d been perfecting her craft for 25 years and had her work on exhibit in Tuolumne and Calaveras counties.

Mary and Claude Chandler had been married nine years. It was a second marriage for both.

Parrington declined to comment about Claude Chandler and Kristin Kruetzfeldt, instead deferring to their close family members, who could not be reached for comment.

Members of the National Transportation Safety Board were at the Columbia Airport on Thursday to investigate the crash.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane coming in to the airport from the north end of the runway, hitting wing first and making a sharp left off the runway and into a field of dry grass and rocks.

An average of 110 aircraft use the airport each day, according to information from the Federal Aviation Administration.

There is no air traffic control at the airport.

Ron and Nancy Hawke of Long Barn, who own a plane they keep at the airport, said when they fly they communicate with other pilots regarding their positions through a common traffic advisory frequency.

They were out flying Wednesday but had heard nothing of the crash until landing several hours after it occurred.

Story and video:

A Cessna 310B airplane crashed at Columbia Airport on Wednesday afternoon, killing the four people on board, said authorities and a witness to the aftermath.

According to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department, officials received the report of the crash at 4:45 p.m.

“The plane was completely engulfed, with surrounding vegetation involved,” the department said in a post on its Facebook page. “Emergency crews are on scene.”

Sgt. Andrea Benson, the department spokeswoman, added that the plane was coming in from the north, hit the runway, veered left and went into a field.

None of the people aboard have been identified, she said.

“There was no communication” between the airport and the aircraft, Benson said, “so we don’t know where they were coming from or where they were going.”

National Transportation Safety Board staff members will come from Colorado on Thursday to take over the investigation.

“We’re containing the scene tonight,” Benson said, and the runway has been kept open to help Cal Fire mop up.

Kye Gunn, an air-ambulance helicopter pilot based at the airport, said his crew was dispatched on a report of a possible patient but knew no more than that.

“We walked out the door, saw fire at the end of the runway” and realized right away it was a plane crash, he said.

He spoke with a National Guard helicopter pilot who saw the crash. The other pilot told him the plane hit wing first, banked hard and came right at him and his crew, who ran. Gunn added, “It came to rest at the back of our helicopter fuel truck. It was driven away so it wouldn’t catch fire.”

His crew quickly was told to stand down because the crash and fire were fatal, Gunn said.

“It turned into a couple-acre fire and caught some vehicles on fire,” he said. “By that time. Cal Fire, the Tuolumne sheriff and the CHP were all there, and local fire.”

Gunn provided the Federal Aviation Administration registry number for the plane, which shows it to be a 1958 Cessna 310B owned by a Sonora man. It was not immediately known if the owner was piloting the craft.

Story and video:

COLUMBIA, California — Four people were killed when a small private plane crashed at a northern California airport.

The Tuolumne County Sheriff's Department said the aircraft had been trying to land on the runway in the town of Columbia but veered to the left.

The Cessna 310 was fully engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived, according to authorities.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board were due to arrive Thursday.


At 4:45 PM, the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office received a report of a plane crash at the Columbia Airport in Columbia. 

The small private plane was coming from the north to land on the runway. 

It is reported that the plane veered to left off of the runway and crashed.

The plane was completely engulfed in flames when emergency crews arrived on scene. There are four deceased victims. 

The Coroner will be determining identification and notifying next of kin. 

The National Transportation Safety Board out of Colorado, will be arriving Thursday to initiate the investigation. 

There is no information as to where the plane was coming from or headed to. 

This is a very tragic event and our hearts go out to the families of these victims.  
- Tuolumne County Sheriff 

October 11, 1998:  

Biplane crashes without injuries Oakland An Oakland fire spokesman says a biplane pilot and two occupants of a tractor trailer escaped injury after the plane crashed and sent debris flying through the truck at Oakland International Airport.

Battalion Chief James Edwards said pilot Dan Kruetzfeldt was apparently flying low over the north field at about 2 p.m. Sunday in an attempt to scoop up an advertising banner when he crashed, sending a piece of the plane through both walls of the truck's trailer.

The pilot and an unidentified husband and wife from South San Francisco were transported to area hospitals where they were observed and released, said Edwards.

Edwards said the pilot was "alert, oriented and conscious" following the crash. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash and will release more information Tuesday, said an FAA spokesman in Los Angeles.

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