Mon, Nov 06, 2006
Witnesses Say Plane 'Exploded'
A Zodiac CH 601 single-engine aircraft went down in northern
California Saturday, possibly due to an inflight 'explosion.' The
aircraft crashed in a Sutter County orchard, killing two
people who were on an apparent VFR pleasure flight.
The Marysville Appeal Democrat quoted sheriff's Capt. Dave
Samson, "They took off from Mather Field. We don't know where they
were going. We don't know why the plane went down. It did break up
A witness said he saw the plane heading northwest and heard the
engine miss, cough, and start sputtering. He then said he saw the
plane spewing black smoke and losing parts.
Other witnesses, according to the Sacramento Bee, said they
heard a loud bang followed by a screeching, metallic sound. "It was
like a bomb going off," said neighbor David Waters, who said he saw
the plane falling and called 911. "The wings came off the fuselage.
They were falling like a feather, floating and spiraling down."
Parts of the plane were scattered hundreds of feet apart. Other
lightweight parts were said to have fluttered for over thirty
seconds after the main wreckage hit.
The victims were identified as Donald and Adeline Dennehey, both
79, from nearby Fair Oaks.
The Zodiac is a small aluminum two-seat low-wing training and
light-sport aircraft manufactured by Zenith Aircraft Co. in Mexico,
MO. The company offers both kitbuilt and certificated production
models. The accident aircraft was a factory-built model.
The NTSB is investigating.
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