This crash happened only yesterday (11/10/05). Fred Zanotto, a Santa Rosa Attorney crashed his Beech Bonanza into terrain coming home from Redding. The cause is still unknown, however the pilot was very familiar with both the terrain (the Geyser Peak area) and his plane. People are baffled because he flew this route to work every week. He had just terminated flight following at 6:33 pm when the plane crashed on the west slope of the Mayacamas mountains at an elevation of about 3,000' at 6:35 pm only TWO minutes later!
I fly over this area often and the terrain is rugged and intimidating. I usually try to stay south of it to avoid having no place to land should I lose an engine. It is a straighter shot to the Santa Rosa airport, but it is not without its risks in a small plane.
I am wondering if he may have had a heart attack or if he actually flew into the terrain without realizing it! If he had flight following, surely the radar would show his altititude assuming he had the correct alt reading... it is really baffling and sad.