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Sun, Mar 01, 2009

Two Lost In Mooney Downing Near Sacramento

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 Sacramento, CA.

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 airport.

"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.

FMI: www.faa.gov, www.ntsb.gov

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