Friends in the aviation community say Karen Johnson of Camarillo was a longtime helicopter enthusiast. She died when her chopper went down Wednesday morning.
The NTSB arrived at the crash site Thursday morning. They're tasked with trying to put the helicopter back together and find out what went wrong.
Ashes and charred grapevines are all that's left of an agriculture helicopter that went down Wednesday morning.
"According to the other pilot, he saw the plane disappear into the fog and the witness saw a light glow," said Andrew Swick, Aviation Accident Investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Investigators spent the day trying to string the story of Johnson's final flight while the aviation community mourns the loss of one of their own.
"Hard worker, hard charger, and loved being in the cockpit," said Chris Gadbois of SRT helicopters who flew with Johnson more than a dozen times. "I flew with her through frost and cherry fields over the last five or six years."
Gadbois said Johnson was an experienced pilot who had flown many times.
"As far as I knew, I didn't have any issues with her. She seemed pretty sound in her judgment in flying," said Gadbois.
But, Gadbois said, weather can change quickly from clear to foggy, so even the best pilots run the risk.
"Yeah, it can it can come on real fast," said Gadbois. "You try to hug your family and bring them closer and be more vigilant in your own flying."
The NTSB isn't saying if weather was a factor. For now, they're going to piece together what's left to try and find the cause of the crash.
"During our investigation, we look at weather. We look at human factors. We look at the machine," said Swick.
The NTSB said a preliminary crash report will be released in about five days. The helicopter did not have a black box data recorder.