Fatal plane crash at Chester Airport

Feather Publishing

On Thursday January 6, 2011 at approximately 1849 hours, the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office received several 911 calls reporting a possible airplane in distress near or at the Chester Airport in Chester, California.

A Beech V Tail Bonanza crashed while attempting to land at Rogers Field in Chester.

The aircraft involved in this incident was a Beech V Tail Bonanza  and is owned by Ronald Gilmore of Chester, California. Ronald Gilmore, 76 years of age has been positively identified as one of the victims in the crash and the second victim has been tentatively identified as his wife Janet Gilmore.

Immediately upon notification, Chester Fire personnel on duty at the Airport Station began a thorough check of the Airport property and were unable to locate any problems.  While completing the area check, personnel were approached by a citizen who knew both the pilot and plane that was in trouble and provided information on the planes possible location.

Based upon the information received from the citizen, Chester Fire requested mutual aid from West Almanor Fire, Peninsula Fire and Hamilton Branch Fire to respond to the water ways near the South End of the Airport.  Chester Fire also dispatched personnel from the Airport Station on Snow Mobiles to check the areas from the end of the runway towards Lake Almanor.

A Unified Command was established with Assistant Fire Chief Nick Dawson and Plumas County Sheriff’s Sergeant Dean Canalia at the end of First Avenue as the search continued.

At approximately 1925 hours, the Fire Department personnel which were dispatched on the Snow Mobiles from the Airport Station, located the downed aircraft approximately ¼ mile south of the Airport and First Avenue.  They also located two victims at the crash site who were deceased.  The Chester Fire Department remained on scene late into the evening assisting the Plumas County Sheriff’s Office with recovery operations.

12:00 p.m. Update

The scene has been secured pending arrival of National Transportation Safety Board investigators on Friday morning.  The Plumas County Sheriff’s Office Coroner’s Division is also conducting an investigation.

Eliott Simpson, Aviation Accident Investigator, out of Gardenia, Calif. office, Western Region NTSB on scene past couple hours

Newly arrived to scene Don Newport, Aviation Safety Inspector, Reno Office, FAA


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