The Pilot Was Flying In An Area Of Reduced Visibility Due To Smoke From Nearby Wildfires

Location: Three Rivers, CA Accident Number: WPR20LA295
Date & Time: 09/04/2020, 1148 PDT Registration: N818S
Aircraft: Beech 35 Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation – Personal

On September 4, 2020, about 1148 Pacific daylight time, a Beechcraft 35 airplane, N818S was destroyed when it was involved in an accident near Three Rivers, California. The pilot and the passenger sustained fatal injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

After family members of the pilot became concerned when he did not arrive at his intended destination, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) issued an alert notice (ALNOT) for the airplane. The wreckage was discovered in mountainous terrain in Sequoia National Park early morning on September 5, 2020. According to first responders, a postcrash fire ensued following the impact.

Preliminary radar data depicted a primary target consistent with the accident airplane depart Visalia Municipal Airport (VIS), Visalia, California, about 1125 and flew east on a 1200 nondiscreet code. The airplane flew toward rising terrain south of Silver City, California, and the last recorded radar target was about 1148.

The pilot was flying in an area of reduced visibility due to smoke from nearby wildfires. There were no reported witnesses to the accident sequence.