2 injured as small aircraft crashes, catches fire in Willits

Two people were injured Sunday morning in a plane crash in Willits, according to the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office.

A small passenger aircraft crashed at about 8:30 a.m. on private property near a landing strip in the 16000 block of Hearst Willits Road, and was almost completely destroyed by fire, according to Sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Dygert. The make and model of the plane could not be determined.

Cal Fire firefighters had extinguished the fire by the time sheriff’s deputies arrived.

The pilot, a 33-year-old male of Willits, and a 26-year-old female passenger were taken to a local hospital and then transported to a hospital outside the county for treatment of their injuries, Dygert said. The pilot was in critical condition, and both suffered serious injuries, according to Quincy Cromer, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities did not release the names of the two individuals.

The cause of the crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board, according to Dygert.

You can reach Staff Writer Kathleen Coates at or 707-521-5209.

Kathleen Coates

Windsor and Cloverdale, The Press Democrat 

As someone who grew up in a small town, I enjoy covering what's happening in Windsor and Cloverdale, which are growing in their own unique ways.  I delve into issues by getting to know people and finding out what’s going on in the community. I also pay attention to animal welfare and other issues that affect Sonoma County.

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