Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Cessna 150F, N7990F: Fatal accident occurred August 28, 2018 at Benton Field Airport (O85), Redding, Shasta County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:  

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California
Continental Motors; Mobile, Alabama
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

Location: Redding, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA244
Date & Time: 08/28/2018, 1100 PDT
Registration: N7990F
Aircraft: Cessna 150
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under:  Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On August 28, 2018, about 1100 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 150F airplane, N7990F, impacted terrain shortly after takeoff from Benton Field Airport (O85), Redding, California. The private pilot was fatally injured, and the airplane sustained substantial damage to both wings and fuselage. The airplane was registered to and operated by the pilot under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed, and no flight plan was filed for the local flight.

Multiple witnesses located near the accident site reported that after takeoff, the airplane appeared to be slow and continued to pitch upward before it rolled to the left and descended toward the ground in a nose low attitude.

Examination of the accident site revealed that the airplane impacted generally flat terrain about 700 ft northwest of the departure end runway 33. The wreckage was contained within a 20 foot area of the initial impact point (IIP). The IIP was identified by a tree strike about 20 ft above the ground near the main wreckage. The airplane came to rest upright on a magnetic heading of about 130°. All major structural components were located at the accident site.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna
Registration: N7990F
Model/Series: 150 F
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Visual Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: RDD, 739 ft msl
Observation Time: 1753 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 7 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 26°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 3 knots / , 210°
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.89 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Redding, CA (O85)
Destination: Redding, CA (O85)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 40.578056, -122.409722 (est)

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

Richard Joseph Engel and Frodo

The pilot who was killed in a plane crash Wednesday near Benton Airpark in Redding was identified Thursday by the Shasta County Sheriff's Office as Richard Joseph Engel, 71, of Shingletown.

Engel, along with his dog, were killed when his two-seat Cessna 150 crashed shortly after taking off from the airport shortly after 11 a.m.

It crashed in a ravine-like backyard of a home off Highland Avenue across Placer Street from the airport after hitting an unknown number of trees.

Representatives from the National Transportation Safety Board, the Federal Aviation Administration, Cessna and Continental Motors were on scene at the crash site Thursday to inspect the wreckage as they began work to try to discover what caused the crash.

Fabian Salazar, an air safety investigator with the NTSB, said the aircraft was to be removed Thursday and then transported by commercial truck to a facility in Arizona where it will undergo a thorough inspection.

A preliminary report will be issued in about seven to 10 days, but it could about a year to determine what actually caused the crash, he said.

He said the investigation will generally focus on the pilot's performance and background, as well as the mechanical condition of the plane's engine and maintenance.

While inspectors extensively went over the rumpled aircraft Thursday, Salazar said it was not obvious what might have caused it to crash.

He noted that eyewitnesses reported hearing a sputtering sound coming from the plane before it crash and asked those who might has seen the crash to contact the NTSB at

"Witnesses can help," Salazar said.

Salazar, who noted that NTSB investigates about 1,400 aviation crashes a year, said he and air safety investigator Debra Eckrote arrived in Redding Wednesday night from Federal Way, Washington to begin the probe into the wreck.

And, he said, it's quite common nowadays for pilots to fly with their pets.

"It's not unusual at all," he said.

The aircraft, which remained at the scene overnight on Wednesday, was secured by Redding Police until a private security company took over the job.

And Salazar said he was very impressed how the first-responders were able to protect the aircraft and crash site.

"They did just a fabulous job helping us out," he said.

A man and his dog were killed late Wednesday morning when his aircraft crashed in a canyon just north of Benton Airpark in Redding.

The fatal crash forced a closure of Placer Street near the scene until late that afternoon as emergency personnel arrived to secure the area and remove the man's body.

Officials from the National Transportation Safety Board were called to investigate the tragic crash, but they are not expected to arrive until Thursday, said Redding Airports Manager Bryant Garrett.

Garrettt said witnesses reported the plane, a Cessna 150, had taken off into the wind in a northbound direction when they heard an unusual sound coming from its engine.

Those witnesses said the pilot apparently pulled up the nose of the aircraft and it stalled and crashed.

But, Garrett said, it's remains unclear what exactly went wrong..

He and others he had spoken to about the crash said it was the first they could recall in years there.

Garrett had not heard whether the pilot radioed a distress call before the wreck.

The small, single-engine plane went down in a gully just north of the airfield shortly after 11 a.m., narrowly missing a home off Highland Avenue, which intersects with Placer Street.

Forty-year-old Nathaniel Pritchard, who lives at that house with its owners and their two 11-year-old children, said he heard the crash and went outside to investigate.

After seeing the wreckage, Pritchard said he, as well as other neighbors, ran to the plane to try to assist those inside, but it was too late.

The pilot, who has not yet been identified, was unconscious and not moving, he said, adding he also saw the body of a small dog inside the plane.

The plane apparently clipped a tree before it crashed and came to rest against another tree and near a children's trampoline.

But, Pritchard said, the sound of the plane crash did not initially frighten him.

"It sounded a little bit like a car crash, really quick, or something falling from the back of a truck," he said. "It didn't sound very alarming."

Chris Thrift, 51, and Calvin Johansen, 63, who both live on the north side of Placer Street across from the crash site, said they also thought it was a car crash at first.

"It almost sounded like a gigantic tin can being crushed," Johansen said.

But, they said, they also heard a "sputtering" sound before the plane went down, leading them to believe the pilot may have experienced engine problems.

"I heard a putter, putter and then a boom," Johansen said.

"It sounded like the engine went out," Thrift said.

Placer Road was shut down as a result of the crash, but it was fully reopened around 4 p.m.

Story and video  ➤

REDDING, Calif. — Update at 12:40 p.m.:

Placer Street is closed down to one lane for both east and westbound traffic near the Benton Airpark. Drivers should expect traffic control and delays. The closure is expected to remain in effect for about three hours.

Original Article:

Redding Fire has confirmed at least one person is dead after a plane crashed in a field near Benton Airpark.

SHASCOM dispatchers say they got the report of the crash at 11:18 a.m.

First responders say the plane crashed in the field on the north side of Placer Street across from the runway.

Placer Street is closed to westbound traffic at Airpark Drive. Eastbound traffic is being permitted to pass through. 

Original article can be found here ➤

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