LAX96LA321
LAX96LA321

On June 19, 1977, about 1215 hours Pacific daylight time, a Rockwell 112, N1168J, impacted terrain under unknown circumstances, 15 miles southeast of the Fortuna VORTAC at Eureka, California. The aircraft departed Murray Field at Eureka in reportedly marginal VFR weather conditions and was destined for Oxnard Airport, Oxnard, California. The wreckage was located August 29, 1996, and the pilot and one passenger were fatally injured.

The NTSB compiled a missing aircraft file at the time of the disappearance; however, files for the year 1977 were purged in 1995.

The former son-in-law of the pilot stated that the aircraft departed about 1200, and that the weather was 900-foot overcast (coastal stratus) with visibility about 5 miles below the overcast. The pilot, who was not instrument rated, stated his intent was to fly southbound via Highway 101 and the Eel River. The aircraft was last seen 20 miles south of Eureka over the town of Scotia, California, by the pilot of a northbound aircraft. The pilot of that aircraft reported a 500- to 600-foot ceiling in the area and that the mountains were obscured on both sides of the highway. The record weather observation taken at Arcata, 12 miles north of Eureka, at 1152, included a measured 700-foot overcast ceiling with 5 miles visibility in fog. Tops of the clouds were reported at 1,900 feet variable to 3,000 feet.

The wreckage was found by a logging company crew in the coastal mountains about 4 miles south of Scotia at latitude 40 degrees, 26 minutes north and longitude 124 degrees, 6.5 minutes west. The site is approximately on the Victor 27 airway, 16 miles southeast of Fortuna VORTAC. The elevation at the site is 1,460 feet msl.

According to a Humboldt County Sheriff's Deputy, the wreckage was found, nose down, in a rocky ravine on a mountain slope of about 75 degrees and was partially hidden by overgrown scrub brush. The deputy said that there were two trees located northwest of the wreckage that appeared to have had the tops sheared off years ago, and a third tree, in between, that had an old injury about 35 feet above its base. He reported that the nose of the aircraft, including the instrument panel, was broken from the fuselage and bent to the left.

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