MITSUBISHI MU-2B-40, NAPA, CALIF., MARCH 11, 2004–The owner-pilot of the 1979 Mitsubishi twin turboprop, N966MA, and his passenger were killed when the airplane crashed into the Napa River under unknown circumstances while on approach to the Napa County Airport (APC). The airplane, registered to the South Coast Tumor Institute of San Diego, was destroyed.
Summer days can be quite warm in northern California’s inland valleys, even those that lie fairly near the coast. By evening, though, the warm, moist air is cooled by the bitterly cold Pacific Ocean, resulting in a thick bank of offshore fog. From miles out to sea, the fog begins its eastward march, covering the beaches and then the hills of the Coast Range, where it settles like misty lakes in the inland valleys.
The wreckage of Mitsubishi MU-2 N966MA was found submerged in about 20 feet of water five days after it crashed March 11 into the Napa River, under unknown circumstances while on approach to Napa County Airport, Calif. The owner/pilot–believed to be a cancer physician–and his wife were killed. VMC prevailed for the night cross-country flight from Imperial County Airport, Calif.