Beechcraft Bonanza Crash in San Diego Kills 2

A fixed wing, single-engine Beechcraft A36 Bonanza airplane with four people aboard crashed into a San Diego home Saturday, December 9, 2017 killing two passengers and destroying the home. The pilot and a third passenger survived, but received very serious injuries during the crash or the subsequent fire.

The pilot radioed that the airplane had experienced an engine failure shortly after takeoff from nearby Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport. Minutes later, the pilot attempted to land the airplane in a schoolyard behind the Clairemont neighborhood, but was not able to stop the airplane before it impacted a neighborhood home.

The victims were in the area to attend Fetch DVM360, a veterinarian conference. One of the victims was a popular veterinarian from Torrance, CA and the other was the husband of a leading veterinarian from Southampton, New York.

The Beechcraft Bonanza, introduced in 1947, has been in continuous production longer than any other airplane in history. It is manufactured by Beech Aircraft Corporation of Wichita, Kansas and has a long and storied history. The Bonanza has been involved in numerous crashes including three different crashes that killed famous musicians Buddy Holly, Jim Reeves and Randy Rhoades. In addition to those those notable crashes, three years before the introduction of the Apple Macintosh, Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak was injured, but survived a crash while piloting his own Beechcraft Bonanza A36TC.

The airplane’s engine in Saturday’s fatal crash was a fuel injected, six-cylinder, IO-550 engine, manufactured by Continental Motors of Mobile, Alabama*. The IO-550 engine is a very popular aircraft engine. In addition to powering the Beechcraft Bonanza and the Beechcraft Baron, the IO-550 engine is used in many different general aviation aircraft including models manufactured by Cessna, Cirrus, Lancair and Mooney.

* In 2010, Continental Motors, Inc. was sold to Technify Motors, a subsidiary of Aviation Industry Corporation of China International, which is owned by the Chinese government.