Saturday, April 24, 2021

Lake LA-4-200 Buccaneer, N2989P: Accident occurred April 21, 2021 near Twentynine Palms Airport (KTNP), San Bernardino County, California

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

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances. 

Ejh Teton Properties LLC

Date: 21-APR-21
Time: 22:12:00Z
Regis#: N2989P
Aircraft Model: LAKE LA4
Event Type: INCIDENT
Highest Injury: MINOR
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

TWENTYNINE PALMS, California  — One person, pilot, Donald Richie, 67, of Cedar Park, Texas, was reported injured in the wake of a plane crash near Twentynine Palms Airport Wednesday afternoon, April 21.

The crash, on Twentynine Palms Highway at Mojave Road east of the airport, was first reported at about 3:13 p.m.

The reporting party said the plane, flying low, got caught in the wind, the nose dropped and the plane hit the ground. The pilot, the only person in the plane, was said to have a gash on his head and was transported by ambulance to Desert Regional Medical Center as a precaution.

Deputies discovered a blue and white airplane had crashed in the dirt lot southeast of the intersection of Mojave Road and the highway, approximately two miles west of the Twentynine Palms Airport.

According to Richie, he was flying the airplane from Petaluma to Texas. He had stopped for fuel at the Twentynine Palms Airport. After taking off from the Twentynine Palms Airport, the aircraft could not gain more than approximately 200 feet in altitude prior to the crash.

Richie was unable to gain much more altitude and realized he needed to return to the Airport.  Richie was going to attempt to land on the highway but observed power lines north of the roadway. He decided to attempt an emergency landing in the dirt field southeast of the intersection. The airplane struck a stop sign and other business signs near the intersection. The plane came to rest upside down, and Richie got himself out of the aircraft prior to the deputies arrival.

Richie sustained minor injuries and was transported to Desert Regional Medical Center in Palms Springs as a precaution. It does not appear alcohol or drugs were a factor in this crash.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Administration (NTSB) were both advised of the crash but did not respond to the scene.

Anyone with information related to the investigation is asked to contact the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Morongo Basin Station at (760) 366-4175.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may contact We-Tip at 1-888-78-CRIME.

The FAA and NTSB were advised and the plane was recovered by Bailey’s Towing.

According to, the plane took off from Visalia Municipal Airport at 11:25 a.m. and landed at 29 Palms Airport at 1:39 p.m.

The fixed wing, single-engine plane can seat four people. It is owned by EJH Teton Properties LLC of Petaluma.

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