Saturday, March 16, 2019

Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza, N800DC: Fatal accident occurred March 16, 2019 near Riverside Municipal Airport (KRAL), California

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.

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

Additional Participating Entities:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania

Location: Riverside, CA
Accident Number: WPR19FA096
Date & Time: 03/16/2019, 1149 PDT
Registration: N800DC
Aircraft: Beech 50
Injuries: 1 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On March 16, 2019, about 1149 Pacific daylight time, A Beech BE-50 airplane, N800DC, impacted terrain in Riverside, California. The airline transport pilot was fatally injured; there were no ground injuries. The airplane was substantially damaged. 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 for the flight and no flight plan had been filed; however, the pilot had received flight following advisories. The flight originated from Chino Airport (CNO), Chino, California, at 1136, and was destined for Apple Valley Airport (APV), Apple Valley, California.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), prior to take off from CNO, the pilot had advised the local controller (LC) that there was an electrical issue and that he would advise when he was ready to takeoff. Shortly thereafter, the pilot informed the LC he was ready for takeoff. The pilot was cleared for departure and was instructed to turn right direct to Paradise (PDZ) VOR. The pilot was then transferred to Southern California TRACON (SCT). Shortly after the airplane took off, the CNO local controller was advised that the pilot was returning to the airport with electrical and engine issues; the pilot indicated that his right engine was out. The airplane subsequently diverted to Riverside Municipal Airport (RAL), Riverside, California, after the pilot reported that the airplane was losing altitude and RAL was the closest airport.

The airplane crashed about 2 miles southwest of RAL in a residential area.

Witnesses in the area heard the airplane and observed it flying at a low altitude before the nose of the airplane dropped, and the airplane began to spin. One witness estimated that the airplane made 1.5 revolutions before he lost sight of it behind houses. Another witness located in the front yard of the residence where the airplane crashed, reported that the airplane spun to the right before he lost sight of it behind his house.

The airplane was recovered for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N800DC
Model/Series: 50 D50
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: RAL, 818 ft msl
Observation Time: 1153 PDT
Distance from Accident Site: 0 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 22°C / -3°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: 5 knots / , Variable
Lowest Ceiling: None
Visibility:  10 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.99 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Chino, CA (CNO)
Destination: Apple Valley, CA (APV)

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:  33.938333, -117.486389

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

Melvyn Douglas Caffey
NOVEMBER 30, 1939 – MARCH 16, 2019

Melvyn Douglas Caffey, age 79, passed away on March 16, 2019 in Riverside CA. He had just left Chino Airport in his twin Beech D-50 Bonanza when he called SoCal Approach reporting electrical and engine problems. Within minutes the plane dropped off radar and then crashed into the backyard of a house on Robinson Ave in Riverside.

Doug was self-employed all his life dealing in real estate investments and land sales throughout the western United States. He also had active interests in oil and gas fields. He was an experienced pilot and held an airline transport pilot license. Flying was a lifelong passion.

Doug was predeceased by his son, Ryan Douglas Caffey in September of 2017. He is survived by his daughter, Santa Lynn Caffey and his son, Mark Douglas Caffey. He also had three granddaughters, Lisa Anne Caffey, Sydney Alexandria Caffey and Madison Brooke Caffey and one grandson, Hayden Douglas Caffey. His sister, Rollene resides in Maui, HI.

A Memorial Service will be held April 24, 2019 at 12:00 noon at Harbor Lawn – Mount Olive Cemetery in Costa Mesa CA.

Authorities identified a 79-year-old Orange County man as the pilot who died when a plane crashed into a Riverside residential area, the Riverside County coroner’s office said Tuesday.

Melvyn Caffey died Saturday after a Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza he was piloting crashed on the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue near Norwood Avenue in the La Sierra area at around 11:50 a.m., according to the Riverside police and fire departments.

Shortly before the crash, the pilot made a distress call to the Riverside Municipal Airport tower about engine trouble, fire officials said at the time, adding that there was was very little time between when the call came out and when the plane crash was reported.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane nose-diving into a home’s yard.

Four people were inside the home, but there were no injuries reported, officials said.

The home’s patio, fence and a tree in the yard sustained minor damages in the crash, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

The coroner’s office described Caffey’s home as being in Orange County, without offering any specific city.

No further information was available on what led to the crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the incident.

The pilot and sole occupant of a Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza died Saturday, March 16, when the plane crashed in a residential backyard in Riverside just before noon, shortly after the pilot reported engine trouble, authorities said.

The preliminary investigation determined that the plane was flying from Chino to Apple Valley, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.

FAA records show that the plane was manufactured in 1956 and is registered to Caffey Aviation in Costa Mesa.

The pilot’s name had not been publicly announced Saturday afternoon. Riverside Fire Capt. Brian Guzzetta said the pilot was an “older man.”

The crash occurred in the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue near Norwood Avenue in the La Sierra Acres area.

Four people were in the house where the plane went down, Riverside police spokesman Ryan Railsback said. The plane, which crashed almost immediately after the pilot’s 11:50 a.m. distress call to the tower at Riverside Municipal Airport, struck a tree before landing in the yard, he said. The neighborhood in the La Sierra area is slightly rural, with mostly one-story homes on large lots, some with horses and other farm animals.

No one on the ground was injured, Guzzetta said.

The two adults and two children at the Robinson Avenue home where the plane nosedived into the backyard had been working in that yard earlier on what was a rare sunny and warm Saturday morning this winter before going inside for lunch, he said.

“It was fortunate for the homeowners in the area. When you think of an aircraft going down, you think of it maybe taking out several homes,” he said.

Norwood Avenue resident Josh Nunnally said he saw the plane flying unusually low for the neighborhood, and it pitched up before it crashed.

“He came around the back side of this property,” Nunnally said, pointing east. “He was fighting the wind, and right when he got around this oak tree right here, it looked like he pulled straight up on the stick to gain altitude and it just dropped immediately. It straight nose-dived and it went straight into the ground real quick. It was a loud crash.”

He said an engine was “sputtering.”

Nunnally said he called 911. Then he and friend Albert Ortega rushed to the backyard of a home on Robinson and found a crumpled blue and white plane with the pilot dead.

“There was nothing we could do about it,” Nunnally said.

There was no fire or smoke, only the smell of engine fuel, according to Guzzetta.

Debris from the plane caused minor damage to nearby homes — a tree, a patio, a fence, Guzzetta said — and no debris field.

The plane went down about 2.5 miles west of the Riverside airport. About the same distance to the east of the airport a little more than two years ago, on Feb. 27, 2017, four people died when a small plane crashed, setting several homes ablaze.

That tragedy was fresh in the minds of Riverside firefighters when the standard plane crash response of two engines, a truck, a battalion chief and an ambulance were dispatched after multiple 911 callers reported an aircraft down.

“We always think worst-case scenario,” Guzzetta said. “When you think of an aircraft that comes down we’re thinking potential homeowners that are home, it’s a Saturday afternoon, people are out in the yards.

“I think we were all surprised when we came around the corner that we didn’t see a fire.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash. An FAA employee at the crash site declined to comment. Robinson remained closed and the plane was still in the yard late Saturday afternoon. 

Original article can be found here ➤

RIVERSIDE, California (KABC) -- A small plane crashed into the backyard of a home in Riverside Saturday afternoon, killing one person. 

The Riverside Fire Department and Federal Aviation Administration confirmed the Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza crashed on the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue approximately at noon. 

Prior to the crash, Riverside Airport received a distress call of the plane going down. When authorities arrived on the scene, one victim -- a male -- was found. 

Fire officials said the plane crashed into a tree and no other damage was reported, but resources remained on the scene. 

No injuries were sustained by the four residents inside the home when the plane crashed nearby. 

A witness described watching the aircraft crash occur. 

"We saw the aircraft coming down, flying real low, and it was making noises and it came around the backside of this property, and it was trying to take a hard right to maybe do a crash-landing or something like that. He pitched up and then as soon as he pitched up, it looked like all the wind came out from underneath his wings, and it went straight down into the ground and it was a big crash," described witness Joshua Nunnally. 

Only one person appeared to be aboard the plane, which was flying from Chino to Apple Valley, the FAA said. 

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the incident. The FAA said it typically takes the NTSB a year or more to determine the probable cause of an accident. Neither agency identifies people involved in aircraft accidents.

Story and video ➤

Coroner’s officials on Tuesday identified an Orange County man who died last weekend  when the small plane he was piloting crashed into the backyard of a Riverside residence.

Melvyn Caffey, 79, died Saturday just before noon, Riverside County coroner’s officials said. The Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza he was piloting was flying from Chino to Apple Valley, Federal Aviation Administration authorities said, and crashed shortly after Caffey sent a distress call to the tower at Riverside Municipal Airport.

The pilot was the sole occupant of the Beechcraft D50 Twin Bonanza, authorities said over the weekend. FAA records show that the plane was manufactured in 1956 and is registered to Caffey Aviation in Costa Mesa.

Four people were in the house in the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue near Norwood Avenue in the La Sierra Acres when the plane went down, Riverside police said. The plane struck a tree before landing in the yard.

Witnesses reported seeing the plane flying unusually low and hearing the engine sputtering before the crash. Two men in the area ran to the crash site but the pilot was already dead.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

1 comment:

  1. There was a LOT more going wrong when this airplane crashed than just a simple engine out at that time. This airplane had plenty of capability to maintain altitude and even climb with only one engine operating. It appears there were other factors in addition to one engine out. Electrical issues, and possibly something causing the running engine to partially fail.