Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Crash near Private Landing Strip Takes One Life

Crashed plane

In a recent incident, a small aircraft crashed in southern California, leaving one man dead and another person seriously injured.

The incident occurred on November 25, 2016 at around 11:45 in the morning. Witnesses reported that at the time of the crash, the wind was blowing at somewhere between 15 and 20 miles per hour. A pilot was giving 10 to 15-minute rides to people at their campsite in his Bellanca 7GCAA. The pilot had been taking off and landing on a long strip of packed sand in the desert terrain outside of Glamis in Imperial County. At the time of the crash, the pilot was giving his sixth ride of the day. He had taken off from a desert landing area and had planned to land his vehicle on a private airstrip nearby where he intended to leave it overnight.

Witnesses were observing the brief flight from a distance. They reported seeing the plane land while operating at a high rate of speed. It then powered up and pitched upward at a 30-degree angle. The plane then turned sharply to the right, followed by a 180-degree turn as it ran parallel to the runway. The craft then leveled off somewhere between 100-150 feet above the ground. At that point, the pilot made a steep turn toward the runway and descended out of the line of sight of the group of witnesses. The crash itself occurred roughly 565 feet away from the approach of the runway where the pilot had intended to land. All components of the plane were discovered within the wreckage debris, and it does not appear that an explosion occurred while the plane was still in the air. Investigators speculate that the pilot lost control of the plane upon approach. The pilot was killed in the crash, and his passenger received serious injuries.

If you have been injured in a small aircraft accident or other aviation accident in California, speak with personal injury attorneys who understand the complex issues surrounding aviation law and aircraft product liability, and contact the experienced Los Angeles aviation accident attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation, at 310-553-6630.

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