Thursday, June 1, 2017

Cessna 180 Skywagon, N3683C: Fatal accident occurred June 01, 2017 in Ventura County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf 

http://registry.faa.gov/N3683C

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA117
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Thursday, June 01, 2017 in Ventura, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 180, registration: N3683C
Injuries: 1 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 June 1, 2017, about 1157 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 180 airplane, N3683C, experienced an inflight break up and was destroyed when it impacted terrain about 7 miles northeast of Ventura, California. The private pilot was fatally injured. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 91. Visual meteorological conditions (VMC) prevailed, and no flight plan had been filed. The local personal flight departed Santa Paula Airport (SZP), Santa Paula, California about 1110. 

The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Investigator-in-Charge (IIC) and representatives examined the wreckage on June 2, 2017 at the accident site. The debris path was about 1½ miles in length, oriented north to south, over mountainous terrain, which included areas of dense vegetation. All major components of the airplane were identified in the debris path, except the right elevator. The fuselage, located near the top of a hill, was the first identified section of wreckage located on the debris field. The inboard left wing was located about 278 ft. southeast of the fuselage; the empennage, including the rudder and left elevator, was located about 400 ft. south-southeast of the fuselage; the right wing was located about 402 ft. south-southeast of the fuselage; and the engine and propeller were located about 499 ft. southwest of the fuselage. Additional components located along the debris path included fragments of both wings, elevator counterweights, and the cabin doors.

Several witnesses located near the accident site heard a loud sound. One witness stated that prior to the loud noise, the airplane's engine sounded like it was powering up. Another witness stated that after hearing the noise, he looked up and observed the airplane spinning towards the ground, and the engine and both wings had separated from the airplane. He added that the tail section remained attached to the fuselage, when he first observed the airplane spinning to the ground.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

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



Michael Brannigan, 52, was killed June 1st when his Cessna 180 Skywagon crashed in the foothills above Ventura. He leaves behind a wife and two children. Photo from www.davidmichaelphoto.com



The National Transportation Safety Board released preliminary information Tuesday on two recent fatal plane crashes in Ventura County, including a June 1 accident north of Ventura that took the life of a Lake Sherwood photographer.

Investigators found that Michael Brannigan's single-engine Cessna broke up in midair while he was flying over the Solimar Beach area along Highway 101, said Peter Knudson, an NTSB spokesman in Washington, D.C.

Brannigan had taken off from the Santa Paula Airport before the plane crashed in the hills northeast of Ventura, Knudson said. 

The June 1 crash left a debris field about a mile and a half long, Knudson said. 

Investigators continued Tuesday to look for more pieces of the aircraft. They also were looking for any radar data, he said.

Investigators are considering numerous things, including whether there may have been some type of midair collision, Knudson said. He said it was too soon to say whether the Cessna hit something while in flight.

A preliminary report on the June 1 crash as well as a second fatal plane accident east of Camarillo on Sunday is expected from the NTSB sometime next week, Knudson said.

Witnesses told investigators the single-engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee had made numerous low passes over the 2700 block of Marvella Court near Moorpark before it slammed into the ground, Knudson said. 

"There were witnesses on the ground and one from another aircraft," he said.

As with the June 1 crash, Knudson said investigators were looking at many factors that may have contributed to Sunday's crash, including whether the aircraft had any mechanical problems.

The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office on Monday identified the pilot as James Harlan, 57, of Calabasas. Harlan's 15-year-old son, Dylan, also was killed in the crash.

Story and video:   http://www.vcstar.com




A June 1 plane crash in the northwest foothills of Ventura has claimed the life of a Lake Sherwood resident. 

On Friday, the Ventura County medical examiner’s office identified the body of a man found in the wreckage at the San Miguelito oil fields as Michael Brannigan, 52. 

Brannigan, a professional photographer, was the registered owner of the Cessna 180. While officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board did not release identifying information about the plane, its assigned registration number was visible on the body of the wreckage. 

The cause of the crash remains under investigation. 

Rescue workers received word of the accident just minutes before noon on Thursday, Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Steve Swindle said. 

A second caller indicated that another plane might have been involved, though the department has since ruled that out. 

“We got a call at 11:58 a.m. of an aircraft down in the hills of Ventura, adjacent to Solimar Beach, and then another report of a possible midair collision,” Swindle said. “We searched back in the oil field area, and one of our units was able to find the wreckage.” 

Because of the second call, the department continued to search for a second plane but found none. 


“In the early evening we determined there was not another plane,” Swindle said. “We had done probably five hours of searching and hadn’t found anything.” 

Upon arriving at the crash site, firefighters found Brannigan’s body in the plane’s fuselage. 

Even before the medical examiner’s identification, family friends began posting messages of condolence for the photographer’s wife, daughter and son, calling Brannigan an inspiration and “the brightest soul you’ve ever met.” 

“He was not only an amazing photographer, he was the kindest, most humble man I’ve ever known,” said one person on Facebook. 

Representatives from the FAA and the NTSB had no information Thursday afternoon regarding the flight origination or destination, though an acting Camarillo Airport operations supervisor said on Friday that records indicated the plane was never stored there or at the county’s other public airport in Oxnard, leading him to believe the plane was likely housed at the private Santa Paula airport. 

Calls to that airport have not been returned.




One person was killed Thursday when a small plane crashed in the hills north of Ventura, leaving authorities to sift through multiple debris fields as they tried to determine what happened. 

Steve Swindle, a spokesman and engineer with the Ventura County Fire Department, said crews learned about the crash from two witnesses just before noon. One of the witnesses was at Solimar Beach and the other was hiking in the hills, Swindle said in a news conference.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer identified the crashed plane as a Cessna 180. With a single propeller engine, Cessna 180s seat four to six people and were produced from 1953 to 1981. 

Ventura resident Claudio Desplas said he was fishing near the entrance of Emma Wood State Beach when he saw the plane coming very low. He saw it go down in the hills and something fell behind him on the beach. 

Much of the wrecked fuselage was found on a privately owned oil lease a few miles north of Taylor Ranch Road with one person dead at the scene. Crews checked the debris and the surrounding area, but there were no other reports of other injuries, Swindle said. He described the area as rugged terrain in the back hills. 

Apparent plane debris was found across Highway 101 on the beach, posing a puzzle for investigators. Swindle said it is "highly unusual" for a crashed aircraft to leave debris in multiple places so far apart, so efforts were being made to determine whether the debris on the beach came from the same incident. 

"What they're doing is looking to see if we can match those parts to the aircraft that's there so we can confirm that it actually was that particular aircraft," Swindle said. 

Because of witness accounts, there were initial concerns of a second crashed plane.

"There was a possibility — someone thought — of a midair collision," Swindle said. "However, all of our searches have confirmed we really only have one aircraft down."

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were notified of the crash, and investigators arrived to begin their work. They offered few details due to the efforts' early stages. 

Sheriff's deputies could be seen cordoning off parts of Emma Wood State Beach. 

It was not known where the plane originated, where it was headed or what direction it was traveling in. 

Kenitzer would not provide its identification number, but a number was visible on the wreckage at the crash site. In the FAA registry, that number matched a Cessna 180 manufactured in 1954 and registered to a Thousand Oaks resident. 

Local officials had left the scene late Thursday afternoon and turned it over to NTSB and FAA investigators. Kenitzer said the NTSB would be leading the investigative effort. 

Investigators were expected to work through the night. 

Original article can be found here:   http://www.vcstar.com





At least one person died in a plane crash in the hills northwest of Ventura on Thursday, officials said.

The Ventura County Fire Department received reports of a possible plane crash just before 12 p.m. It was unknown whether the victim was male or female, according to Steve Swindle, a public information officer with the Ventura County Fire Department.

The plane went down near the 101 Freeway and Taylor Ranch Road under unknown circumstances, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA registry information for the plane indicates it is a Cessna 180 Skywagon. The plane is registered to an owner with an address in Thousand Oaks.

Rescue crews were searched for hours to locate a possible second aircraft in the rugged terrain based on witness reports, but by evening were refocusing their investigation on the one aircraft.

Witnesses at Solimar Beach told authorities they saw an aircraft go down behind the mountains on the coastline, Swindle said.

Aerial footage from the scene showed one small aircraft that was completely destroyed. Parts of the wreckage were scattered about an industrial oil field in the hilly area above the 101 Freeway, as well as on the beach nearby, according to Swindle.

“We’ve secured that debris, and we have National Transportation Safety Board that’s on scene," Swindle said, in reference to the wreckage on the beach. "They’re going to go take a look at it and see during their investigation if it is actually part of the aircraft that did crash.”

A witness who had been fishing nearby told KTLA he first saw the aircraft flying very low along the coastline before, a short time later, a piece of aluminum landed not far from where he and his wife were sitting.

No structures were damaged, and no other injuries were reported.

The National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration were investigating the incident but said it was too early to determine what led to the crash.

Original article can be found here:   http://ktla.com



VENTURA, Calif. (KABC) -- At least one person was killed when a small plane crashed Thursday afternoon in the hills northwest of Ventura, according to fire officials.

The plane crashed north of Ventura near the 101 Freeway and Taylor Street under unknown circumstances, said Allen Kenitzer with the Federal Aviation Administration.

The Ventura County Fire Department said they were looking into initial reports that a second possible aircraft was involved in the incident, but upon further investigation, they believe only one plane was involved.

Witnesses reported the crash just before noon after some said they spotted parts falling off the plane and landing near them.

Fire officials classified the crash as being very unusual.

"It is highly unusual for an aircraft to be in multiple pieces this far apart...I can't confirm that it did explode - it is conjecture - but it's a little bit odd," explained Ventura County Fire Department Public Information Officer Steve Swindle.  A beach area next to the 101 Freeway was closed for an unknown duration of time.

Original article can be found here:  http://abc7.com 




VENTURA COUNTY, Calif. - The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a plane crash in the mountainside near Solimar Beach in Ventura County that occurred just before 12 p.m. Thursday.

Witnesses reported seeing pieces of the single-engine plane fall from the sky along Pacific Coast Highway at 11:58 a.m. The NTSB tweeted that the aircraft was a Cessna 180.

A piece of the aircraft was located on Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura County according to emergency traffic radio. 911 callers reported that parts of the aircraft also landed on their property. Ventura County firefighters have located pieces of the plane, including a fuselage, on the beach.

There is one confirmed fatality according to Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Steve Swindle. Authorities believe only the pilot was onboard the plane at the time of the crash.

A cadaver dog was requested to assist with the search of a large debris field.

There were unconfirmed reports that a second aircraft may have been involved in this incident and a possible mid-air collision may have occurred, but officials now believe it was only one plane that was involved in Thursday's incident.

The Ventura County Fire Department said the crash site lies in a remote area north of U.S. Highway 101 and Taylor Ranch Road in private property.

U.S. 101 was not impacted and the beach is active with visitors. The only areas closed off to the public are those where debris from the plane was found.

No further details were immediately known. The cause of the crash is under investigation. 

Original article can be found here:  http://www.keyt.com




At least one person died in a plane crash in the hills northwest of Ventura on Thursday, officials said.

Just before 1 p.m., officials confirmed a crash had occurred. The plane went down near the 101 Freeway and Taylor Road under unknown circumstances, said Allen Kenitzer, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration.

FAA registry information for the plane indicates it is a Cessna 180 Skywagon, that was manufactured in 1954. The plane is registered to an owner with an address in Thousand Oaks.

Rescue crews were also working to locate a possible second aircraft in the rugged terrain.

Witnesses at Solimar Beach told authorities they saw an aircraft go down behind the mountains on the coastline, according to Steve Swindle, a public information officer with the Ventura County Fire Department.

Aerial footage from the scene showed one small aircraft that was completely destroyed. Many of its components appeared to have broken apart and parts were scattered about the area.

Original article can be found here: http://ktla.com



The Ventura County Medical Examiner's Office has identified the pilot killed in a plane crash north of Ventura as Michael Brannigan, 52, of Lake Sherwood.

Brannigan died from blunt-force injuries in the crash, the coroner's office said Friday afternoon.

Records show Brannigan owned the single-engine Cessna that went down around noon Thursday in the hills east of Solimar Beach.

Brannigan worked as a photographer, according to his website, David Michael Photography.

"I never thought that photography would become my ultimate passion and career of choice," Brannigan said on the website, noting that he discovered photography when he was 14. He became a professional at the age of 17, he said.

"It always has been and forever will be my honor to tell your story, become part of your family, and capture the priceless, beautiful moments of your life events through photography," he stated on the site.

The wrecked fuselage from Brannigan's plane was found a few miles north of Taylor Ranch Road on privately owned property. But debris, which investigators suspect was from a plane, was found on a nearby beach. Debris was also found near the city limits of Ventura.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board. 

Story and video:   http://www.vcstar.com






















National Transportation Safety Board investigators responded to the scene of a fatal plane crash in Ventura County Thursday afternoon.

A single-engine aircraft crashed in the area of Taylor Ranch, which is north of Highway 101 and west of Highway 33, near the city of Ventura.

Ventura County Fire Department authorities confirmed one fatality and said no other injuries were reported.  

Emergency crews also responded to Solimar Beach, where some of the plane’s wreckage reportedly fell.

It was not known specifically what kind of plane was involved in the crash, which occurred shortly before noon, according to the Ventura County Fire Department.

There were initial reports that a second aircraft might have been involved, but authorities later confirmed a single aircraft involved in the incident. 

The NTSB crash investigation was expected to last throughout the night, Ventura County officials said Thursday afternoon. 

Original article can be found here: https://www.noozhawk.com

4 comments:

Charlie said...

No four corners. No wings. How did it get through all those wires? Was this just dumped?

Robert Jennings said...

Why was the area restricted for flight?

Anonymous said...

Temporary flight restrictions were issued over the airspace as authorities searched for a second aircraft and investigated the crash.

Anonymous said...

This is another of several crashes in Ventura area in the last week or two. GA public image is not doing so hot right now.