Plane Crashes Near L.A. After Mid-Air Collision

A small plane crashed near L.A. on Monday afternoon after a mid-air collision with another plane. One airplane crashed into a rocky ridge, killing its pilot while the second was able to maneuver a belly-flop landing on a nearby golf course.

Rescuers searched through the plane’s wreckage in rocky terrain in Calabasas. They discovered the body of one person who is believed to be the only one on board.

County fire Inspector Quvondo Johnson explained that firefighters responded to a report of a small wildfire in the area around 2 pm local time. When they arrived, they spotted debris from an aircraft. They put the fire out and searched for survivors.

Three people were aboard the second plane, which was able to make an emergency landing while stunned golfers looked on. All three escaped the wreckage with minor injuries. Aaron Jesse, 47, was one of the golfers who witnessed the plane crash near L.A.

Jesse explained that he left work early for a round of golf. He spotted a low-flying plane hit a tree, spin around 180 degrees, and land gently on the ground. Jesse recalled:

“They landed 50 feet to the left of us in the center of the fairway. All we heard was a thud and then he made a gentle bounce and slid down the center of the fairway.”

While the initial investigation into the plane crash near L.A. is still ongoing, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer stated that a preliminary review of radar records showed the two planes’ flight paths crossing just after 2 pm local time. Both planes involved were Cessna 172s, a single-engine high fixed wing plane that typically seats four people.

The plane that crashed on the golf course was flying west at an altitude of 3,500 feet when the second plane approached from the east after leaving Santa Monica Airport for a test flight.

Both the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the plane crashes near L.A. on Monday.

[Image via AlfvanBeem]