Jul 29, 2016

HCSO searching for missing aircraft that lost contact in Arcata area

9:35 p.m. update:

On 07/29/2016 at about 2030 hours, the Humboldt County Sheriff's Office Coroner's Division completed recovery of the victims from this accident. Tragically, four fatalities were confirmed. All four subjects, three females and one male, were recovered from inside the wreckage of the aircraft.

The ages and identities of the victims are being withheld at this time pending identification and notification of next of kin.

Latest update on today's airplane crash:
The National Transportation Safety Board will arrive tomorrow around 1100 hours.The Humboldt County Sheriff's Office has secured the scene. 
There is a quarter-mile mile debris field for the crash site. Personnel have confirmed plane went down into timber.
Sheriff’s Office is in communication with REACH Air Medical Services with information for the victim’s family.Personnel have confirmed four people were on the plane, and as noted earlier confirmed two fatalities.

10:55 update
This morning at about 10 a.m. Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue teams located a crash site on private timber company in the Cranell area of Humboldt County which is located to the north of McKinleyville. At this time at least two fatalities have been confirmed. National Transportation Safety Board has been notified.

This is all of the preliminary information we have on a missing plane in the Arcata area:

The pilot of a twin-engine Piper PA31 declared an emergency due to smoke in the cockpit around 1 a.m. Friday.

The plane was flying from Crescent City to Oakland.

The pilot indicated he was going to return to Crescent City.

Radar contact with the aircraft was lost about 5 miles northeast of Arcata Airport.

We believe there were three people on board.

The Humboldt County Sheriff is searching for the aircraft.

The tail number is N661TC.

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