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Ask Sacto 911 crime Q&A: Any information on biplane that crashed into Folsom Lake years ago?

Published: Saturday, Jan. 25, 2014 - 12:00 am

Do you have any information on a biplane that crashed many years ago, probably in the 1980s, in Browns Ravine? As far as I know, the pilot’s body was never discovered.

– Marianne, Sacramento

The recent search for the wreckage of a plane that crashed into Folsom Lake in 1965 has led to questions about other crashes that occurred in and around the lake.

The Bee’s electronic archives, which go back to 1984, include accounts of two such crashes in the 1980s, but neither involved biplanes or fatalities.

An online listing of plane crashes in Northern California includes a June 28, 1971, crash involving a pilot who was killed while doing acrobatics at a low altitude. The aircraft reportedly hit the water, sank and was not recovered. The pilot was not named.

The 1980s crashes included one in July 1984, in which a Piper Comanche carrying two Nevada City men, pilot Roger Harris and Richard Marcucci, clipped a power line and crashed into the lake, according to the account in The Bee. Two other men, who heard Harris and Marcucci yelling for help, came to their aid and pulled them from the partially submerged plane about 50 feet from shore on the El Dorado County side of the lake.

In October 1986, a seaplane attempting to land near Granite Bay crashed into Folsom Lake. A 16-year-old girl from Grass Valley, one of four people on board, suffered head injuries and was pulled from the submerged plane by boater who was nearby. The three other people, including pilot Earl R. Allen of Auburn, had already surfaced and were picked up by other boaters. All were taken to area hospitals with injuries.

The water was estimated to be 150 feet deep where the plane went down.


Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke



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