Deputy Scott Ballantyne and pilot James Chavez killed in small-plane crash near Springville, California

Modified Date: 
Thu, 01/12/2017 - 5:42pm
Accident Date: 
Wednesday, February 10, 2016

2 people killed in Tulare County small plane crash

SPRINGVILLE, Calif. (AP) — Officials say two people were killed when a single-engine plane crashed near Springville in Tulare County. Authorities say the plane crashed Wednesday afternoon near Eagle Feather Trading Post and Highway 190. The California Highway Patrol says Highway 190 has been closed near Pleasant Oak Drive on the east and Eagle Feather Trading Post on the west. But it's not clear whether the plane was ablaze in the air, or whether it crashed or landed and began burning. The Fresno Bee reports (http://bit.ly/1Q8sMVP ) authorities say witnesses saw the aircraft on fire.

Deputy, civilian pilot killed in Tulare County plane crash

The plane crashed near Eagle Feather Trading Post and Highway 190, which was closed for several hours. The Fresno Bee reports Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux confirmed Deputy Scott Ballantyne and pilot James Chavez died when a two-seater plane crashed Wednesday and burst into flames after hitting a mountain. Boudreaux says the aircraft, which belonged to the Tulare County Sherriff's Office, was leaving the area after assisting deputies in the arrest of a suspect who had brandished a weapon. He says the cause of the crash has not been determined and that a distress call was not sent out and the parachutes the plane was outfitted with didn't deploy.

Tulare County Sheriff deputy and pilot killed in plane crash

What we know about @TulareSheriff Deputy Scott Ballantyne who died tonight in Tulare Co plane crash. pic.twitter.com/NeASx5sJJv — Veronica Miracle (@VeronicaABC30) February 11, 2016 What we know about @TulareSheriff Civilian Pilot James Chavez who died in plane crash earlier tonight. pic.twitter.com/5Ekvt7wmJM — Veronica Miracle (@VeronicaABC30) February 11, 2016 According to the Tulare County Sheriff's Office, a deputy and a civilian pilot who worked for the sheriff's office were killed in plane crash in Tulare County.The FAA said the plane was a single-engine Flight Design. It went down under unknown circumstances around 4:15 p.m. and burst into flames after hitting a mountain near Highway 190 and Pleasant Oak.

Tulare County sheriff hires first female pilot after deadly crash

Michelle Simoes of Tipton will be the first female pilot in the air unit who is not a volunteer.  

Report on crash that killed pilot and deputy hints at cause

The report says the plane was flying at low altitude, made a hard left turn and descended into the ground four miles southwest of Springville. The airplane hit a hill, caught fire and was destroyed.  

People Involved: 
Scott Ballantyne
James Chavez

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