REACH Air Medical Services and Cal-Ore Life Flight confirmed that an accident has occurred involving a Piper Cheyenne aircraft associated with Cal-Ore Life Flight’s Crescent City, CA base.
The plane departed at 00:29 AM PST from Crescent City Airport for Oakland International Airport with three crew members and a patient on board.
“This is one of the saddest moments in our history. We have been told there were no survivors. First and foremost, our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the patient and our crewmembers. Until we have positive confirmation from the local authorities, we cannot release the identification of those on board. We have critical incident stress management (CISM) teams in the area and we are doing all we can to help those involved. We will provide more information as soon as all family notifications have been made.”
Initial reports from the pilot to air traffic control indicated smoke in the cockpit. Communication with the aircraft was lost at 01:05 AM PST.
Search efforts were performed by the US Coast Guard, Humboldt County Sheriff’s Department, Cal-Fire, Civil Air Patrol, California Highway Patrol Air Division, and the Office of Emergency Services.
Around 10:00 AM, the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue teams located the crash site north of McKinleyville, CA. Cal-Ore notified the FAA and the NTSB.