Bakersfield Small Plane Crash Kills 5

December 22, 2015 | By Garrett Montgomery More

A small plane crashed in Bakersfield, California leaving five people dead. The pilot of the single-engine Piper PA-32 made a mayday call before vanishing from the radar – it is believed that the weather may have caused the downing of the plane.

Bakersfield small plane

The crash of a small plane in Bakersfield, California took the lives of five people. According to the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, on Saturday at about 4:30 p.m., authorities in Bakersfield received a mayday call from the pilot of a small plane.

Sgt. Mark King with the Kern County Sheriff’s Office revealed that several other agencies, including the California Highway Patrol, responded to the call and immediately launched a ground search. It took about three hours to locate the debris from the plane, according to King. He explained:

“The aircraft is in a debris field … in an almond orchard, so it’s going to take a lot of footwork to conduct the investigation. We do not expect to have positive identification of the passengers until Monday.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board arrived in Bakersfield Sunday morning to begin an investigation into the cause of the accident. According to FAA spokesman Ian Gregor, at around 4 p.m. Saturday, air traffic controllers lost contact with the single-engine Piper PA32, which was traveling from Reid-Hillview Airport in San Jose to Henderson Executive Airport in Las Vegas.

Gregor stated that the names of the victims will be released Monday and added that the cause of the accident is not yet known. A meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Hanford said it was rainy and cloudy in the area south of Bakersfield around the time the plane vanished from the radar. It might take the agency months or even years to determine the cause of the accident.


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