UPDATE, 10/23/23 — Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration released a preliminary report regarding the fatal plane crash in Covelo Friday evening, indicating crash occurred shortly after takeoff and led to a fire. There was one pilot and one passenger on board. Their deaths are being investigated as an accident.
MCSO investigators believe the decedents may have been out-of-state residents, but official confirmation of their identities will have to be done using dental records. That will take time.
“The following day the Sheriff’s Office was contacted by family who reported they believed their family members had died during the crash,” Capt. Greg Van Patten said in an email Monday. “The family provided us with dentist information for both individuals and we are in the process of requesting/obtaining dental records for identification purposes.”
Van Patten said MCSO will release more information about the decedents when it becomes available.
Public records indicate the plane is registered to Plane Haven, LLC, in Kalispell, Montana. Plane Haven could not immediately be reached for more information.
COVELO, 10/22/23 — Two people died Friday evening when a small plane crashed near the Round Valley Airport in Covelo, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office. They have not yet been identified. According to the Federal Aviation Administration, no one else is believed to have been on the aircraft.
Multiple agencies responded to the 21000 block of Airport Road in Covelo around 6 p.m. Friday. The crash started a vegetation fire, which was quickly contained. MCSO deputies say the condition of the deceased is affecting the process of identifying their remains and notifying the victims’ families.
Sources with the FAA say the aircraft in question was a single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed shortly after taking off from the Round Valley Airport.
Capt. Greg Van Patten, with the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office, did not immediately respond to questions about the victims’ identities.