Three Killed In Big Bear Airplane Crash

The National Safety Transportation Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are carrying out dual investigations of the fatal crash of a single-engine, fixed-wing, Beechcraft A36 with two seasoned pilots aboard that came down Monday afternoon in a populated area about a mile short of the Big Bear Airport.
Killed in the crash into a vacant lot near the area of Paradise Way and Maltby Boulevard in Big Bear City on May 1 were 60-year-old Stormie Seibold of Temecula, 62-year-old Jimmy Fitzpatrick of Perris and 79-year-old Robert Carty of Lake Havasu.
Reports are that a distress signal went out from the plane but that it was not received by the tower at Big Bear Airport.
Carty owned and was piloting the craft, which bore the serial number E-1376 and registration number N2038Y and was previously owned by Cynthia L. Brown of Sikeston, Missouri. He departed with Fitzpatrick from French Valley Airport at 11:22 a.m., making a short hop to Corona Municipal Airport, landing at 11:36 a.m., according to Flight Aware, an aviation website. There, they rendezvoused with Carty and had lunch. The trio were flying to Big Bear Airport to look over an airplane there that was for sale.
They left Corona airport at 1:32 p.m.
Seibold had been licensed as an aviator for 30 years and Fitzpatrick was also an experienced pilot.
Available flight data shows the plane hit the ground, at an elevation of roughly 6,750 feet, at 1:58 p.m.
According to the Big Bear Fire Department, a call to the dispatch center for it and the sheriff’s office came in at 2:02 p.m. Firefighters responded within three minutes to the scene of the crash, a field which is roughly a mile from the Big Bear Airport and in proximity to several houses. Responders noted no smoke or flames, but there was extensive damage to the aircraft, with its right wing entirely displaced.
All three men on board the plane were pronounced dead at the scene.
A National Transportation Safety Board investigation is underway, with one of its investigators having arrived in Big Bear on Monday and a Federal Aviation Administration investigator coming in on Tuesday. Both are making an effort to document the scene, examine the aircraft, request any air traffic communications, radar data, weather reports, obtain Siebold’s medical records and flight history along with N2038Y’s maintenance record and flight log and contact any witnesses.
-Mark Gutglueck

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