Friday, February 07, 2020

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan, N24MG: Accident occurred February 06, 2020 near Murray Field Airport (KEKA), Humboldt County, California

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Oakland, California

Redding Aero Enterprises Inc

NTSB Identification: WPR20CA089
14 CFR Part 135: Air Taxi & Commuter
Accident occurred Thursday, February 6, 2020 in Eureka, CA
Aircraft: Cessna 208, registration: N24MG

NTSB investigators will use data provided by various entities, including, but not limited to, the Federal Aviation Administration and/or the operator, and will not travel in support of this investigation to prepare this aircraft accident report.

Aircraft crashed on shore and flipped over.

Date: 06-FEB-20
Time: 15:30:00Z
Regis#: N24MG
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 208
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: CARGO
Flight Phase: UNKNOWN (UNK)
Operation: 135
Flight Number: BXR1966

The pilot awaiting rescue. 

The Rescue

Cessna 208B Grand Caravan,  N24MG

The Packages

Humboldt Bay Fire

On 02/06/2020 at 7:24A.M., Humboldt Bay Fire resources were dispatched for a water rescue in Humboldt Bay near Woodley Island along with the U.S. Coast Guard.

A Cessna 208B Grand Caravan carrying one pilot had crashed into the Bay after losing visibility in the fog attempting to land at Murray Field Airport.

Working together with the U.S. Coast Guard Humboldt Bay boat and helicopter, Humboldt Bay Fire Water Rescue Team members boarded a Port Authority vessel and began a search for the plane in the water which was heavily impeded by heavy morning fog. Land resources including fire engines, command, and Sheriff’s vehicles patrolled the boundaries of the bay attempting location as well.

The pilot was located at 7:49A.M. atop his overturned plane and was pulled out of the water by Humboldt Bay Fire personnel at 7:52A.M, just 28 minutes after the initial dispatch. We are happy to report that the pilot suffered no major injuries, and has been transported to the hospital for observation and treatment of minor cold exposure.

Humboldt Bay Fire would like to acknowledge the work of the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Humboldt Bay, Humboldt County Sheriff's Office for scene control, unified command, and water search, the Harbor District and Port Authority for their cooperation and resources, as well as Eureka Police Department 9-1-1 Dispatch who remained on the line with the pilot and aided in his discovery.

This incident highlights the efficiency of work that can be accomplished when our joint agencies work together, and we are so thankful for the relationships we have with our partner agencies.


The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office reports that deputies are plucking what appear to be Amazon packages that were inside the plane that crashed into Humboldt Bay this morning out of the water.

The pilot was rescued in “good condition” and the Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the cause of the crash.


Humboldt Bay Fire reports the pilot “suffered no major injuries” and was taken to St. Joseph Hospital for “observation and treatment of minor cold exposure.”


A pilot was rescued from atop his partially submerged plane after crashing in Humboldt Bay this morning.

The pilot reportedly called 911 while standing on the plane's landing gear as it was sinking into the bay shortly before 7:30 a.m.

“A pilot just landed in the Bay,” the dispatcher reported.

The pilot reported he was on the east end off of Woodley Island, according to the dispatcher. He told her he could hear a responding helicopter but couldn't see the Samoa Bridge because of dense fog.

Firefighters and the U.S. Coast Guard responded but had difficulty finding the plane due to the fog. At about 7:40 a.m., the pilot reported to the dispatcher that he could see the U.S. Coast Guard helicopter, which was still having trouble locating him. A few minutes later, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office launched a rescue boat.

Shortly after 7:50 a.m., the Coast Guard helicopter told the dispatcher it was lowering its hoist with a rescue swimmer to the downed plane. At 7:55 a.m., the dispatcher reported the crew had recovered the pilot and was en route to St. Joseph Hospital.

With the pilot safely transported, crews from various agencies have turned their attention to the plane and voiced concerns about the potential for a fuel spill in the bay.

Original article ➤

UPDATE, 10:39 a.m.: The Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office notes that its deputies are currently fishing numerous packages out of the bay near the site of this morning’s delivery plane crash.

UPDATE, 9:03 a.m.: According to Federal Aviation Administration records, the plane is a Cessna 208B single-engine plane belonging to Redding Aero Enterprises, Inc.

It had just flown up toward ACV from Sacramento, according to flight records.

UPDATE, 8:50 a.m.: Capt. Libby Tonning — aka “Capt. Zippo” — is at the scene of the crash aboard the vessel Mr. C Street and sends along photos from nearby. Tonning says that they’re setting an anchor to the plane right now to secure the thing while they figure out what they’re going to do next.

UPDATE, 8:20 a.m.: Paramedics and Humboldt Bay Fire personnel have left the scene now that the pilot has been rescued. Now it’s a question of getting the plane out of the bay.

Lt. Kevin Miller of the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office tells the Outpost’s Ryan Burns, at the scene that the plane is upside-down and mostly submerged on a mud flat. The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified, and will decide whether to forward the incident to the National Transportation Safety Board.

Miller said that the pilot was alert, conscious and talking when the Coast Guard picked him up, and confirmed that he called in his own plane crash to 911.

Original Post: A small Cessna crashed into Humboldt Bay this morning somewhere to the east of Woodley Island. The pilot apparently was able to extricate himself from the plane and called emergency dispatchers.

At just before 8 a.m., the Coast Guard helicopter crew recovered the pilot and is transporting him to St. Joseph Hospital, according to scanner traffic.

The plane — a small Cessna — was reportedly shrouded in fog this morning, and rescuers had a difficult time locating it. The Coast Guard, Humboldt Bay Fire and the Sheriff’s Office established a unified command post on Woodley Island.

Original article ➤


  1. Crashed in dense fog...shouldn't take a year of investigation to figure out what went wrong here.

    1. ...while fulfilling a segment of Amazon delivery. Never mind the outdated concept of get-there-itis, now its fly no matter what in the new world of delivery subcontracting. Fog, zero AGL, whatever, must fly.

  2. As a commercial pilot with over 30 years of experience, including numerous flights into KEKA, it never ceases to amaze me how some people with obviously so little knowledge of aviation can so easily determine the cause of a crash with so little information.

    What we know: Pilot was attempting to land at KEKA, it was apparently foggy, and aircraft somehow ended up in the water. Was the flight IFR or VFR? I'm guessing VFR since the flight track did not coincide with the KEKA RNAV (GPS) RWY 12 IAP. Other reports say, "Fire officials said the pilot had crashed into the bay after losing visibility in the fog while attempting to land at Murray Field in Eureka." Is this what the pilot told them, or is it just a guess? If true, why did the pilot "lose visibility"? If not on an instrument approach, (most) pilots don't intentionally fly into fog banks. And for an instrument rated pilot, the path to escape from IIMC is up, not down. Too many unknowns to draw any conclusions as to the cause.

    We don't know what the weather was at KEKA at the moment of the crash. The closest weather report is at KACV, 12 miles away. The weather at KEKA can change change rapidly (in just a minute) as fog rolls in and out (like waves).

    1. It’s really not that hard to figure. The post-crash drama inside the company is the really fun part.
      Talking shit to the pilot got at least one guy fired there. Sounds like like a nice place to work.
      Happy trails......