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Mooney M20, Bonanza F-33A Midair Crash Site Visit near Needles, CA on 02.03.2012 G. Pat Macha

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Published on Feb 7, 2012

Crash Site Visitation. On March 17, 1977 two aircraft were preparing to land at the Needles Airport at 0730 hours when they collided killing two men in the Beech F-33A, and one man in the Mooney M20F. Both pilots were aware of each others presence, and both pilots were on the same radio frequency, and the glare of the rising sun was listed in the NTSB accident report as a factor in this tragic accident. The crash sites are separated by about 1/4 mile with the Mooney wreckage concentrated in a small draw, and the Beech wreckage somewhat scattered on rocky hardscape about four miles from the Needles Airport. The sky is a vast expanse, but this accident reminds us that we must always be vigilant. Both the F-33A and the M20F are low wing designs that may have prevented the Mooney pilot from seeing the F-33A beneath him.

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