Magana Cathcart & McCarthy

Plane Crash in Hawthorne Takes Life of Pilot and Instructor

Plane on fire

A recent plane crash in Hawthorne which occurred under mysterious circumstances has caused extensive property damage and taken the lives of the plane’s two occupants.

The crash in question occurred in the early evening of June 10, 2016. The aircraft involved in the crash was a Grumman American Aviation Corporation AA 1B, N4SU. The plane had taken off from the Hawthorne Municipal Airport shortly before the crash occurred. According to the Hawthorne Airport tower controller, the pilot of the plane had called to request a no-radio departure, instead relying on light gun signals from the tower. The pilot also mentioned that he had received the latest weather information while speaking with the tower. The plane took off after receiving a green light gun signal, became airborne, settled back on the runway, and then took off again, but “remained low,” according to air traffic controllers.

One witness reported that the plane’s engine had sounded “rough,” and that it failed to gain altitude at the same rate that a plane normally would at takeoff. The plane remained at about 400-500 feet, according to the witness, disappearing below buildings and trees. Ultimately, the witness watched the plane’s course until he saw a black plume of smoke rise up. The plane made initial contact with a palm tree, where it lost its left wing. The plane came to rest in a condo, catching on fire and causing substantial damage to the building.

Upon examination of the plane to discover the cause of the crash, investigators were thwarted somewhat by the extent of the damage caused by the fire. The cockpit instruments were too damaged to provide any insight, but it appeared as though the control cables remained connected to the empennage, and that the aircraft still possessed flight control continuity. One propeller blade was slightly damaged. The engine rotated and had remained attached to its mounts, but the engine’s bearings, tappet faces of all four cylinders, and camshaft lobes displayed substantial damage. The crash is still under investigation.

If you have been injured by an airplane or helicopter accident in Southern California, ensure that your claim is fully investigated and that you receive the full compensation you’re owed for your injuries by contacting the Los Angeles aviation accident attorneys at Magaña, Cathcart & McCarthy for a consultation on your claims, at 310-553-6630.

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