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On Saturday evening four members of a Sacramento were killed just seconds after taking off in a small airplane. They crashed just outside of Visalia Municipal Airport, and how or why this happened is still unknown.
The four took off in the 1966 Beechcraft Bonanza, according to ABC, and emergency personnel began to respond around 6:35 p.m. that Saturday evening. Deputies were called to arrive on the scene for a possible downed airplane, which is exactly what they eventually found. Apparently, the single engine plane crashed 16 seconds after take off.
Regardless of how quickly the plane fell, it took longer than expected to find the plane after it crashed. There was no fire, there was a thick fog present, and the plane landed in a large reservoir area which is difficult to access. Approximately 4 minutes passed between initial takeoff and the first call for 911.
The wreckage area has been noted to be approximately 500 feet long, as well as scattered with debris in all directions of the crash. As of most recent reports, investigators are taking photographs of the scene and holding a ground investigation. After this, it’s been reported that the plane will be moved to a secure location to undergo further analysis. It’s still unknown whether or not the weather had anything to do with the crash.
In a KCRA article the family members, whilst not immediately identified, have now been identified as a father, his two daughters, and his nephew. These were 78-year-old David Chelini, 46-year-old Karen Baker, 48-year-old Donna Chelini, and 58-year-old Steven Chelini. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plan was registered in David Chelini’s name.
There have been no reports indicating where the plane was initially heading. The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are currently investigating.