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NTSB releases preliminary report on Truckee plane crash that killed 6 people, including 4 with valley ties

City of Truckee Public Works

The National Transportation Safety Board released its preliminary report on the Truckee plane crash that killed six people, including four with ties to the Coachella Valley.

The aircraft, a Bombardier CL-600-2B16, was destroyed following a crash near the Truckee-Tahoe Airport (TRK) in Truckee, California at approximately 1:18 p.m. on July 26, 2021.

The NTSB's report does not mention any particular issue with equipment prior to the crash. The report added that the flight crew was in constant communication with air traffic control (ATC) throughout its flight from Coeur d'Alene, Idaho to TRK.

The NTSB's report did reveal that multiple eyewitnesses said the plane originally caught their attention due to its low altitude and abnormal flight path as it circled the runway.

"According to witnesses, the airplane was in a nose down attitude and steep left turn during its last few seconds of flight. A witness located about 50 ft from the accident site reported that he observed the airplane come from the northwest about 20 ft above the trees. The airplane then entered a steep left turn and banked erratically just before it impacted trees and then the ground," reads the NTSB's report.

Three surveillance videos captured the accident flight’s final movements and were all consistent with the witness’ recounts, the NTSB confirmed.

Witnesses close to the crash site stated that the plane appeared intact when they first observed it, however, the plane was consumed by the post-crash fire.

Plane's holding pattern and approach to TRK

ATC would later clear the plane for a RNAV runway 20 approach, cancelled radar services, and instructed the pilot to contact the TRK tower. The flight crew established communication with the TRK tower controller when they were near the LUMMO waypoint, located about 9.6 nm north of the approach end of runway 20.

The tower controller offered the flight crew the option of crossing over the field and enter the left downwind leg for runway 29 or to enter downwind leg for runway 11. Once the flight crew announced they were making a right turn and reported runway 11 in sight, the controller then cleared them to land on runway 11 and informed them that the airplane was not in sight.

The flight crew acknowledged the clearance, which was their final radio communication.

Truckee-Tahoe airport and plane's flight path

The crash remains under investigation. The NTSB says it is analyzing data recovered from the plane's the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder.

The victims in the crash were identified days later, which included four people with close valley ties.

The pilot was Bret Ebaugh, a Palm Springs High School graduate, confirmed by his wife on a Facebook post.

Bret Ebaugh

Hideaway Properties, a real estate agency in La Quinta, announced that its associate Kevin Kvarnlov along with Hideaway members and owners Ryan and Christine Thomas were killed in the crash.

Kevin Kvarnlov

According to a flight tracker, the aircraft originally flew from Van Nuys to Jacqueline Cochran Regional Airport in Thermal before heading out to Reno and then Coeur d’Alene.

Truckee plane crash flight tracker

Stay with News Channel 3 for continuing updates on the crash.

The crash was the first of two plane crashes to affect the local area that week.

Just a few days later, two people were killed when a small plane crashed in a vacant lot northwest of the Banning Municipal Airport.

The victims have only been identified as two men in their 20s from Big Bear, CA.

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Jesus Reyes


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