Witnesses Say Accident Occurred During Test Flight
A pilot and mechanic reportedly conducting a test flight after
making repairs to a 1966 Mooney M20E perished Saturday morning,
when the aircraft came down near the Rio Linda Airport (L36) near
Witnesses say the aircraft crashed at 9:14 am Saturday, shortly
after taking off for what was described as a post-maintenance test
flight. The plane impacted on a dirt race track north of the
runway, underneath the final approach path to runway 17 at the
"It was smoking really bad, like it was on fire or something and
I thought it was going to land," witness J.D. Richards told
KXTV-10. "It was crazy. I can't explain it. It scared me. My house
is like five minutes away."
Pilot David Michaud, 53, owned the accident aircraft (file photo
of type shown below). His passenger was a mechanic at the airport,
whose identity had not been released as of Saturday evening. Both
occupants were declared dead at the scene.
Michaud was a former deputy with the Sacramento County Sheriff's
Department. He had continued on with the department in a reserve
capacity after retiring in 1996.