Saturday, July 17, 2021

Beechcraft V35B Bonanza, N112TW: Fatal accident occurred July 16, 2021 near Angwin Airport-Parrett Field (2O3), Napa County, California

Robert Nicholas and his daughter, Shauna Waite

Shauna and James Waite 


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 Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Sacramento, California 

Location: Angwin, CA 
Accident Number: WPR21FA273
Date & Time: July 16, 2021, 08:40 Local
Registration: N112TW
Aircraft: Beech V35 
Injuries: 3 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On July 16, 2021, at 0840 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft V35B, N112TW, was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Angwin, California. The two pilots and one passenger were fatally injured. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal crosscountry flight.

Radar data identified the airplane departing French Valley Airport (F70), Murrieta/Temecula, California, about 0550. The pilot had flight following from Air Traffic Control (ATC), until they were about 10 miles from Angwin Airport-Parrett Field (2O3), Angwin, California, whereupon flight following was terminated. The radar track identified the accident airplane as it entered a left downwind for runway 16. The radar track showed a wide left base turn to final which overshot the final approach. The radar track then showed the airplane reacquire runway heading and land.

Witnesses located at 2O3 reported that the accident airplane made an approach to land on runway 16. After touchdown, the airplane bounced several times before the pilot initiated a go-around. The airplane cleared the first tree line at the departure end of the runway. One witness reported that after clearing the first set of trees, the airplane began to pitch up, the left wing dipped down, and then the nose dropped toward the ground. The witness lost site of the airplane but saw smoke shortly after and called 911.

Video footage obtained from 2O3, identified the accident airplane liftoff near the departure end of runway 16. The landing gear remained extended as the airplane flew out of camera view.

Witnesses near the accident site reported hearing the airplane. They looked up right before the airplane struck a tree then impacted the ground coming to rest in a vineyard.

Examination of the accident site (see Figure 1) revealed that the departure end of runway 16 was about a halfmile from the first identified point of contact (FIPC); a 50 ft tree. The airport was not visible from the wreckage site. The FIPC contained a portion of wing skin in the tree and on the ground, a few feet from the FIPC, was the left aileron. The main wreckage came to rest downslope in a vineyard about 500 ft from the FIPC. The left-wing tip tank was identified 150 ft west of the main wreckage. 


All four corners of the airplane were accounted for at the accident site. The airframe came to rest on a westerly heading with the engine separated from the firewall. The 3-bladed propeller along with its spinner and hub separated from the engine crankshaft and was located uphill and adjacent to the engine. Flight control continuity was established from the tail to the cockpit and right wing. The left wing was destroyed by impact forces and postcrash fire.

The three propeller blades exhibited s-bending, gouging the length of the blades, and chordwise scratching. The tips of the propeller blades exhibited gouging, with one blade missing a portion of its tip.

The crankshaft was manually rotated. Compression was obtained in all cylinders. Gear and valve train continuity was established.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Beech
Registration: N112TW
Model/Series: V35
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file 
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSTS,114 ft msl 
Observation Time: 07:53 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 18 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 12°C /10°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 800 ft AGL 
Visibility: 7 miles
Altimeter Setting: 29.96 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed:
Departure Point: Temecula, CA (F70)
Destination: Angwin, CA (2O3)

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal 
Aircraft Damage: Destroyed
Passenger Injuries: 2 Fatal 
Aircraft Fire: On-ground
Ground Injuries: 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 3 Fatal
Latitude, Longitude: 38.565647,-122.43043 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email witness@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov. You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.

53 comments:

  1. I don't see a skid trail to the scene of the crash.

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    1. And I don't really see much evidence of the left wing,

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    2. That and I don't see the left wing. It's burnt up, but you think you would at least see an outline in the vegetation.

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    3. The left wing is likely at or near the tree which the aircraft hit, prior to coming to rest in the vineyard.

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    4. First hand info: it was a stall and a dive, after an unsuccessful go-around. There had been a propeller strike on the runway during one of the several bounces (on his attempt to land) that bent the propeller and hindered his climbout.

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  2. There is an extensive discussion of the crash on the BeechTalk forum. Details in the local media report a missed approach that clipped trees. FlightAware shows the plane was high and fast coming in.

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  3. Second-hand info: bounced, attempted go-around, clipped trees, stalled.....

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    1. Yep I got the same 2nd hand info. Stall/spin after a go-around. Maybe max gross + density altitude, or retracted the flaps all at once with insufficient airspeed, or maybe forgot to put the power in. CFIs make us practice this for a reason. Too many accidents due to botched goarounds.

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  4. This is my home drome and I know some eyewitnesses. There was no wind and weather was clear. They indicate the plane was far faster than normal and seemed to dive to the runway. Th plane bounced twice, struck the prop and thereafter was unable to climb impacting trees. There was no radio communication.

    Speculating, It seems possible the pilot was not flying the plane, perhaps was incapacitated, and a passenger was trying to get it on the ground.

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    1. If you are correct on your speculation of a pilot medical issue...there were actually 2 licensed pilots on this plane. One was much more experienced than the other. I knew 2 of the people on this plane fairly well and may have met the 3rd one time. I have no knowledge of who was flying at the time.

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  5. I had the chance to meet this gentleman and his wife at El Monte airport a few months back while having breakfast -- he took me out to N112TW and let me sit in the right seat. I have to say that the aviation community has truly suffered a loss as he was such a kind guy. My sincerest condolences to his family.

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  6. Another too fast, NO FORWARD SLIP DONE approach. He bounced, made many mistakes on the Go Around from flare maneuver, stalled the airplane. Crashed it.

    Too many USA CFI's are afraid of teaching real Forward Slips. And many dont teach Go Around From Flare either. Too many skip teaching those maneuvers. See the results. A shame for whoever didnt test for that.

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    1. If you have to slip you Bonanza you should already have been going around

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    2. How very, very true. I’ve owned and flown V tail bonanzas since the 80’s, I’ve never slipped one to make the landing. I’ve gone around more times that I can ever count, usually due to crosswinds. The decision to go around is best made when you are initially on final, not when you are about to flare. It’s all about being on a stabilized approach. Waiting to the last minute to either force a landing or initiate a go around increases the risk factor exponentially.
      I stopped instructing students a decade ago, and the worst habit I focused on was the inability to recognize an unstabilized approach. I held that as high in importance as stall spin recovery. No matter the aircraft I instructed in, or the rating my student was going after. As a matter of fact, I found that pilots training for their multi engine rating had the hardest time, as a group. So, it matters not the type of aircraft or time in log books, some bad habits or self imposed necessities will and can kill you.
      My most sincere condolences to those who suffered a loss in this tragedy.

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  7. From resident - lives on Angwin Airport-Parrett Field grounds. The Federal Aviation Administration asked him to give them a detailed report....

    "This is my account… It was nice meeting you this afternoon, even even if under these difficult circumstances. Since you asked me to detail what I witnessed today, here's my memory of it. Background: I work from home most of the time, and our property is at the North end of the Angwin Airport; and we have a front deck that overlooks the majority of the runway and field. I have my morning coffee and work from there when the weather is nice. Trees block one small section of the runway in the middle of the field from my view, but I can see about 90% of it, including both ends. Aviation is one of my hobbies, and I enjoy watching the traffic and listening to the Angwin (and Yolo) Unicom on 123.000. Because we are in fire season, I also watch air traffic on flightradar24 to see what air traffic is nearby, looking for the DF tail numbers that Cal-Fire uses. This morning, at around 8:35 am, I heard N112TW (a male voice) notify the Angwin Unicom that he was approaching from the South to enter the pattern for runway 16. The first thing I noticed that was unusual was that he called using "Parrett Unicom" instead of the ordinary "Angwin Traffic" or just "Angwin" for his transmission. The second notable thing I noticed is that he entered the downwind leg at around mid-field and called "One One Two Tango Whisky is high approach on downwind for left traffic one six Parrett Unicom." I looked on flightradar24, and he was at 5,000' or so, and most traffic is around 2,700 or 2,800' on the downwind leg. He then fairly quickly called "One one two Tango Whiskey is left base one six Parret Unicom." In my mind, I was wondering how a Bonanza was going to shed the altitude and still slow enough for him to land. The last transmission I heard was "One one two Tango Whisky is short final one six Parrett Unicom." I noticed the third and most unusual item was his high descent angle and speed he was carrying as he passed our house towards the runway. My initial thought was with that much speed (maybe 40-50% faster than the average plane passing by,) he would fly over the field, go around and try the approach again. To my surprise, he attempted the landing and bounced much higher than I've ever seen, maybe ten or more feet, then started porpoising. The third contact with the runway was the steepest and hardest that I could see, and I thought he might have struck the prop. That was just past the North end windsock from my perspective. Some mid-field trees obscured my view for about a second, and when I saw him again, he was flying but very low. It seemed like he firewalled the throttle but was not gaining any altitude. I saw him barely clear the planes and trees on the far end of the runway and was very low as he crossed the vineyard to the South. I then saw him dip the left-wing, apparently trying a last-ditch effort to avoid contact with a pine tree, but was unsuccessful. The wing appeared to impact the tree (I can now see the impact scar on that tree with binoculars,) then almost like it was in slow motion, the plane spun inverted to the left, nose down, and I could see the top of the canopy and wings as it disappeared from my sight behind the hill. Within a couple of seconds, the black smoke came rushing upwards. From my perspective, I didn't hear any sound of the impact, possibly because it was over the hill from me. My phone shows that I called 911 at 8:40 am to report the crash, then drove to the airport, then the crash site to see if I could assist any potential survivors, regardless of how unlikely that might be. Once at the site, I could immediately tell that there was no chance of survival for any plane occupants. I hope I am not leaving out any critical details, and I wish you the best in your investigation."

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  8. The pilot was a good friend of mine, highly experienced in that plane and a conservative, risk averse flyer.

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  9. Looks like he had owned the airplane for almost 20 years. It doesn't make sense. That's a rookie mistake.

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    1. I'm guessing daughter was flying and dad was working the radios with the husband in the back seat. Looks like she got her PPL back in 2019, so that would comport with an inexperienced aviator behind the stick.

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    2. The daughter was a friend of mine and was also a good pilot with a reasonable amount of time in bonanzas. she was also very risk adverse.

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  10. If your friend was highly experienced in that airplane I would have to guess he wasn't actually flying the airplane. So sad.RIP

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  11. Just because the "pilot/owner" apparently was sitting in the left seat, does not mean He was actually flying and manipulating the controls. As mentioned before, the two other persons onboard were also pilots.

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    1. If a competent pilot was in the left seat he must have been incapacitated to let that happen. Plenty of opportunities to end that crash before it happened.

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  12. I lease aircraft to retail customers and I have seen first hand how age adversely affects mental acuity in even highly experienced pilots. One elderly but very experienced pilot totaled one of my planes taxiing for takeoff, he wasn’t even anywhere near the runway. Took out a couple of other planes too. He really didn’t have a good explanation for what happened, I don’t think he understood it either.

    I’m 62, I’m not ageist, it’s just that we all lose our physical and mental capacities as we get older. Anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

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    1. I've given quite a bit of instruction to senior students and it is always very challenging for both of us. Their physical reflexes just aren't where they need to be and causes many problems. Aeronautical Decision Making (sort of a mental reflex) is an another area that seems to suffer.

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  13. My dad stopped flying at 81, he had a hard time deciphering tower instructions. Safety always came first with him. Former test pilot during WWII and taught instrument flying the last twenty years of his life. He had a club in NJ with five Pipers and couldn’t believe the stupid mistakes pilots made-especially those with Ph.D.s. I lost 3 great, dear friends on July 15 in the crash at Dinsmore, CA. That pilot was 69 years old.

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  14. Many of these Model 35 bonanzas have a throwover single yoke so if that is the case they should have a good idea who was PIC. I have a lot of time in Bonanzas and I have never had to slip one on final approach or any other time. Power off full flaps they sink like a rock. I would guess the most likely scenario here is a medical emergency.

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  15. Most of the comms to SOCAL were a female voice. https://archive.liveatc.net/kral/KRAL2-Jul-16-2021-1300Z.mp3

    2:10 3:30

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    1. Female voice at that second time hack says:
      "Three Two Owe Two Tango Whiskey" and something about climbing. The N112TW track in that time period shows 320 degree heading entering KONT Class C.

      https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.839&lon=-117.539&zoom=10.9&showTrace=2021-07-16&trackLabels&timestamp=1626440976

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  16. Regarding comments about aging and ability, some observations:

    1. The pilot exhibited correct cognitive function in recognizing and announcing "high approach on downwind for left traffic". He knew he was high and communicated that fact, making sure any other aircraft listening on CTAF would be on the lookout for an aircraft higher than expected on downwind.

    He was not impaired or diminished in his perception or understanding of the relationship between airfield elevation and his altimeter reading or responsibility to communicate the unusually high altitude in the pattern.

    2. It is notable that the high and fast approach to Angwin also included overshooting the turn to final, having to correct the track significantly to get aligned with the runway.

    3. Recorded tracks for the previous five landings (linked below) show no overshot turns, very precise and uniform throughout, including the day before the accident flight. The pilot was current and precise.

    Now look at the track of the accident approach in the sixth link.

    The hypothesis that Pilot Nicholas was losing his mental acuity due to age does not ring true looking at those five recent landings and considering his communication during approach on the accident day. It also seems unlikely that he would mishandle the follow through from recognized high pattern entry or fail to perceive the need to go around much earlier if he had the controls throughout the approach.

    Remaining possibilities are sudden onset impairment or delay in making the decision to transfer the throw-over single yoke (if so equipped) back to Pilot Nicholas at a critical time in the approach.

    Landing 1:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.577&lon=-117.135&zoom=13.5&showTrace=2021-06-02&trackLabels
    Landing 2:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.577&lon=-117.135&zoom=13.5&showTrace=2021-06-21&trackLabels
    Landing 3:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.577&lon=-117.135&zoom=13.5&showTrace=2021-06-28&trackLabels
    Landing 4:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.577&lon=-117.135&zoom=13.5&showTrace=2021-07-12&trackLabels
    Landing 5:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=33.577&lon=-117.135&zoom=13.5&showTrace=2021-07-15&leg=2&trackLabels

    Accident approach:
    https://globe.adsbexchange.com/?icao=a0355f&lat=38.591&lon=-122.428&zoom=13.2&showTrace=2021-07-16&trackLabels

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    1. Older male pilots have great difficulty in accepting the fact that they no longer have the 'Right Stuff'. Professional pilots, and former professional pilots, do much better of course. But, like the racers who blame their slower lap times on their car or bike, or the wide receivers who are the last to realize they've 'lost a step', the effects of aging are inevitable and insidious.
      One solution? Park that male ego in the hangar and fly a simpler aircraft. Replace that King Air with a Caravan, the Mooney with a Carbon Cub. If sometime in the hopefully distant future you buy the farm, well, nothing wrong with leaving life while doing what you love. Just don't take others with you when you go!

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    2. LiveAtc recorded daughter piloting during the flight. The possibility that Dad was working CTAF and watching for traffic coming into Angwin while daughter applied full attention to performing the landing can no longer be ruled out.

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    3. LiveATC recorded that the daughter was on the radios, but it’s not confirmation either was piloting - could be good CRM or it could be one person flying but the daughter grabbing the radios every now and then.

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    4. Yea, cause it's so much fun to talk on the radio.

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    5. It is natural for people to be reluctant to accept that a pilot visiting parents out of state may have flown a botched landing at a unicom field that was ideal for having a go at it on a nice day.

      If N112TW was dual-yoke equipped and not throw-over single yoke, it would be hard to explain why Dad did not go missed from the bad approach well before things got out of hand.

      If throw-over single yoke equipped, the fact that daughter was not riding in the back seat has to be considered.

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    6. There was a significant descent rate while in a fairly steep turn at speed. Makes me wonder if vertigo set in?

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  17. Plane was single throw-over yoke.

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    1. Yes this model was single throw over yoke unless modified. The non-flying pilot would have been unable to salvage the landing.

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  18. As sad as it may be to accept it certainly seems like Shauna might have been the one piloting.

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  19. Preliminary report mentions one propeller blade missing a portion of its tip (length missing is not specified). Nothing was stated about whether prop strike marks could be found on the runway.

    Excessive vibration from prop imbalance may have caused the pilot to reduce throttle setting after clearing that first tree line at the airport boundary.

    https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/103492/pdf

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    1. Preliminary report. "Examination of the accident site (see Figure 1) revealed that the departure end of runway 16 was about a half- mile (1/2 mile = 2640 feet) from the first identified point of contact (FIPC); a 50 ft tree."
      as
      @ AirNav "Angwin Airport Runway 16 Obstructions: 50 ft. tree, 1000 ft. from runway, 210 ft. left of centerline, 16:1 slope to clear"

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    2. Another example of outdated or incorrect obstruction data. The tree line that borders Airport Way at the airport boundary measures 770 feet from where the prelim report marked as the end of the runway. Street view image below shows those as well established trees going along the boundary, not 210 ft. left of centerline. How many years out of date is the FAA's database?

      Street view of airport boundary trees:
      https://goo.gl/maps/NiGQPLWbLtbcpwoj8

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    3. Runway length: 3,217 ft (981 m) = declared Landing Distance Available.
      If you add their indicated 1,500 ft "overrun" on Rwy 16 places the tree obstruction 2,500 ft beyond Rwy 16.
      "Runway Overrun means a graded area beyond the Runway Threshold to accommodate aircraft in the case of an overrun on landing and to accommodate certain landing aids used during aircraft landing approaches."

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    4. Examining imaging of RW16 overrun and obstructions reveals that the "overrun" for 16 does not compare well to the quoted definition and may have compelled the Bo pilot to get airborne again.

      Preliminary report's yellow dashed line, annotated as "Dep end of 16", points to this pinned location:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.572602+-122.434512

      Notice that the 3,217 ft of declared Landing Distance Available measures correctly on the Google Map image between the north end of the asphalt and the south end threshold mark, which is at this pinned location:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.575664+-122.434813

      The RW16 "overrun" is not a graded area. It is a continuation of the asphalt and also serves as THE in-line taxiway to aircraft ramp parking and hangars. Adding 1,500 ft of "overrun" distance on Rwy 16 to the south end threshold mark location of the declared Landing Distance Available puts you here:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.571566+-122.434398

      Having the overrun serve as taxiway and pass among aircraft parking and hangars risks turning long overruns into tragedy. The Bonanza pilot didn't face a graded overrun area leading to a boundary fence. Did other aircraft or people present in the "overrun" area force a decision to try and struggle back airborne?

      The tree line that borders Airport Way at the airport boundary is located here:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.570488+-122.434199

      Mapping GBear's "tree obstruction" location 2500 ft beyond that threshold mark on the south end at Rwy 16's 3,217 ft of declared Landing Distance Available puts you at this location out in the vineyard, 600 feet beyond the Airport Way boundary trees that the Bo pilot cleared:
      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.568850+-122.433803

      The runway and obstruction database is a mess. Easy to see on images that the NTSB's annotation for "Dep end of 16" is located in the defined overrun. Total length of asphalt from north end to that annotated point measures 4,340 feet.

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    5. This is the exact location of the crash site.

      https://www.google.com/maps/place/38%C2%B033'55.5%22N+122%C2%B025'53.7%22W/@38.565417,-122.4321385,219m/data=!3m2!1e3!4b1!4m6!3m5!1s0x0:0x0!7e2!8m2!3d38.5654173!4d-122.43159?hl=en

      Location confirmed by comparing Fox 11 aerial video (starts at about 30 sec into the video) to the google map posted above. Notice the line and different coloration between the two fields left of the crash site. Also the wide dirt road that runs through the field below the site and also, the curving paved road above the crash site.

      See Fox 11 video here.

      https://www.foxla.com/news/plane-crashes-in-napa-county-vineyard-witnesses-see-small-explosion?taid=60f1e1bdb881cc0001a143c5&utm_campaign=trueanthem&utm_medium=trueanthem&utm_source=twitter

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    6. You can shorten your pinned map links for posting by using this "secret" URL format, entering coordinates that get displayed after clicking a spot on a map image:

      http://maps.google.com/maps?t=k&q=loc:38.565434+-122.431596

      Prelim report content linked below wasn't copied into the KR post body when you worked out the crash location from the Fox 11 video. The prelim report does show the crash location on its map image:

      https://data.ntsb.gov/carol-repgen/api/Aviation/ReportMain/GenerateNewestReport/103492/pdf

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  20. I know, but sometimes it seems to move the pin slightly.
    I saw the report, and the image, but the google map is much more clear and easier to move around and zoom in and out on. I didn't include the link because it is listed in an above post on 07/27 @ 4:04PM.
    Thanks

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    1. No sweat. You are correct that moving around, zooming and all is excellent using the google map views. The "one line" URL format reduced my posting by 15 lines in the comment that checked the overrun measurements in the post prior to yours. Pins stayed where they were supposed to be. :-)

      When there is a street view that can be matched to what is seen in news images and videos, crash locations can be determined without a news report aerial view. Was able to do that for the N4474H Dinsmore crash, the N605TR Truckee crash, and show the boundary trees at Angwin along Airport Way. Very informative to see.

      The biggest surprise has been how wrong some of the obstruction data is when you look at the images and measure distances.

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    2. Actually, if you take the coordinates from the carol report, and paste it into google maps it shows the location of the crash to be just across
      Las Posadas road on the south side about 100' or so from the actual location.
      And yes, a lot of distances and measurements indicated are inaccurate when you drill down and take a closer look.
      Here is a google street view of the location with a view of the tall trees in the background. One of which, the aircraft impacted with the left wing prior to impacting the ground.

      https://www.google.com/maps/@38.5651307,-122.431579,3a,75y,330.54h,93.36t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1soPV5VXkJGEp75fePft1fgw!2e0!7i13312!8i6656?hl=en

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  21. Examination of the accident site
    revealed that the departure end of runway 16 was about a half- mile from the first identified point of contact (FIPC); a 50 ft tree.
    The FIPC contained a portion of wing skin in the tree and on the ground,
    a few feet from the FIPC, was the left aileron.
    The main wreckage came to rest downslope in a vineyard about 500 ft from the FIPC.

    ... lose a left aileron, an uncommanded roll, longitudinal control is lost.

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  22. What an utter tragic and NEEDLESS loss of life! God bless and watch over their poor orphaned son. :(

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  23. Was there a gouge on the runway where the prop might have hit? If there was ever a case for going around, this one is #1.

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