Investigation into fatal plane crash continues

Posted at 5:33 PM, Dec 21, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-21 22:21:57-05

The investigation into what may have caused an airplane to crash Saturday night in Southwest Bakersfield continues as NTSB and the FAA look for more clues at the crash site.

The single-engine Piper PA32 took off from the Reid-Hillview Airport out of San Jose, CA  according to the FAA.  The FAA says it will take months, if not longer, to determine what may have caused this crash.

The crash scene still blocked off Monday as crews bring in heavy machinery to clean debris left from Saturday nights plane crash in Southwest Bakersfield. The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash that took the lives of five people from Gilroy.


An official with the FAA says the single-engine plane disappeared from radar around 4 p-m Saturday.  The Kern County Sheriff's Department says at about 4:25 p.m., Kern County law enforcement received a call from LA Traffic Control that a mayday call from a single engine plane was broadcast.

WATCH: The wreckage from crash was removed Monday evening.

The FAA then issued an alert notice, which is the first step in initiating the search-and-rescue process. Crews from the Kern County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), Bakersfield Police Department, California Highway Patrol and Kern County Fire Department all joined the search and by 7:24 p.m., debris was found spread out across the area.

At about 8:15 p.m., officials shut down Panama Lane west of Buena Vista Rd. and remains closed Monday.  FAA officials say in appears the plane may have broke apart while in flight before the crash.  Officials say a tablet was recovered at the crash site – and may help investigators find out what happened in those last minutes before the crash.

NTSB says they will take all the debris from the crash to an undisclosed location and continue analyzing it – and are still looking if weather may have been a factor in this crash.