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On August 24, 1997, about 1730 hours Pacific daylight time, a Beech H35, N222M, operated by the pilot, was destroyed after a forced water landing near Goleta Point, California. The pilot and his passenger were not injured and were rescued by boaters in the area. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the personal flight and no flight plan was filed nor required. The aircraft departed runway 15L at the Santa Barbara Airport for Van Nuys, California.
The location of the water landing was reported to be about 1/2 mile off the shore line. The pilot stated that during the departure climb, about 150 feet, the engine went to near idle power. He switched fuel tanks and attempted to restore full power without success. The pilot maneuvered to avoid a boat then ditched in the ocean.
There was no insurance coverage to pay for recovery. About 12 days after the accident at the request of environmentalists the aircraft was raised by the pilot. After a call from the Safety Board the pilot stated that the aircraft was destroyed by the accident and the salt water though it still had fuel in the tanks. He disposed of the remains without notifying the Safety Board.