California Aviation Accident News: Sierra Plane Crash Killed 2 Men

08/17/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Sandra Quinlan // Sandra Quinlan

Watsonville, CA—Two aviation buffs, including a flight instructor, were killed when the single-engine aircraft they were occupying went down in the Sierra Nevada near the Emigrant Gap on Friday, August 13, 2010. The deadly plane crash occurred as a college student trained for his commercial pilot’s license, according to information provided by the Mercury News.

Student Gabriel Suarez, 21, signed up for a two-day lesson in mountain flying with flight instructor Bryan “Dill” McCullah, 31. They initially took off from Watsonville and landed in Auburn. After departing for a second time, however, something went wrong.

The Piper Cherokee Arrow aircraft unfortunately crashed off Texas Hill Road, approximately a half-mile north of the American River’s east fork, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said.

Two people, a pilot and emergency medical technician (EMT), were camping in the nearby Emigrant Gap at the time. Within 12 minutes of witnessing the horrific plane wreck, they arrived at the crash scene. Suarez’s mother Janet Bush noted the unidentified witnesses reported the aviation accident to officials around 1:45 p.m.

Sadly, no one survived the Sierra plane crash. McCullah, of Santa Cruz, died in the plane crash along with Suarez, of Watsonville.

McCullah is survived by his fiancée Tricia Ryan, whom he was scheduled to marry in two weeks; Ryan’s son Hunter Burt; parents Gary and Janet Bush; brothers Alan and Scott McCullah, as well as other members of his extended family.

Suarez is survived by his parents, Victor and Gloria Suarez; brothers Brandon and Aaron Suarez, and other members of his extended family.

The wrecked aircraft had been rented out from Monterey Bay Aviation Inc.’s United Flight Services, according to Suarez’s family.

Authorities from the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are expected to conduct a full investigation into the Sierra plane crash.

Legal News Reporter: Sandra Quinlan– Legal News for California Aviation Accident Attorneys.

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