On June 3, 1998, about 1045 hours Pacific daylight time, a Vickers Supermarine MK XVI, N382RW, was destroyed after colliding with mountainous terrain near Blue Canyon, California. The pilot, the sole occupant, received fatal injuries. The personal flight originated at Chico, California, about 1017, and was destined for Minden, Nevada. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed at the departure point and destination, and no flight plan was filed. A California Highway Patrol helicopter located the wreckage on June 4, 1998, about 1415. Use your browsers 'back' function to return to synopsisReturn to Query Page
The purpose of the flight was to reposition the aircraft after an airshow. The distance of the flight was about 125 miles over the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
At 0754, the pilot obtained a preflight weather briefing for a VFR flight from Chico to Minden. He asked for actual and forecast weather. He stated that it should take about 30 minutes en route at 1,500 feet agl. The briefer initially reported mountain obscurations for the route. He further stated "that Blue Canyon was now (0758) showing a few clouds at 2,800 feet and it looked as though they have improved."
At 0952, the Blue Canyon Metar was reporting: wind variable at 3 knots; visibility 5 miles; mist; ceiling 400 broken; 4,000 overcast; temperature 44 degrees Fahrenheit; dew point 32 degrees Fahrenheit; and the altimeter was 29.98 inHg. Witnesses reported that portions of the mountainous terrain were obscured in clouds and fog.
The pilot was cleared for takeoff at 1017, followed by a low pass over the airport. A pilot witness in the town of Washington recognized the vintage warbird, and stated that the aircraft passed over the town about 400 feet agl at low cruise power and the weather was good. The wreckage was located the next day about 5 miles north of Blue Canyon about 5,500 feet msl.