SANTA MONICA AIRPORT: ACCIDENTS, NEWS, WEBSITES

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83 accidents/incidents have occurred since 1982 either at SMO, on approach to SMO, after departing from SMO, or involving aircraft operated out of SMO, plus two that occurred in Santa Monica airspace.

Among the 83 accidents, there were 40 fatalities.

22 of the 83 accidents were on “instructional flights,” including 6 fatalities

4 — American Flyers – 10/16/86 (2 fatalities), 6/18/87, 9/22/87, 3/9/82
3 — Justice Aviation – 12/4/2004, 3/10/11, 8/29/11
3 — Gunnell Aviation — 8/30/85, 11/24/87, 8/6/1989
3 — privately-owned aircraft – 7/9/89, 6/24/92, 11/26/93 (3 fatalities)
2 — California Aviation – 1/19/82, 9/3/84
2 — Danforth Aviation – 9/21/92, 7/7/89
1 — C & K Aviation – 10/7/89
1 — Claire Walters Flight Academy – 12/1/84
1 — Cloverfield Aviation – 1/22/94
1 — Northfield Aviation – 10/7/08 (1 fatality)
1 — Santa Monica Helicopters – 4/2/92

(The 6 flight schools currently operating at SMO are American Flyers, Justice Aviation, Proteus Air Services, Santa Monica Aviation, Santa Monica Flyers, and Skyward Aviation.)

The “instructional” accidents occurred in the following locations:
– 6 at SMO
- 2 in Santa Monica — 4th St. near Bay (3 fatalities, including a flight instructor) and 21st & Navy
- 1 in Venice
- 1 in Malibu
- 2 in the ocean near Malibu (1 fatality: a flight instructor)

- 2 in Paso Robles
- 2 in Simi Valley
- 1 in Agoura Hills
- 1 near Altadena (2 fatalities — the fault of the air traffic control system)
- 1 in Newhall
- 1 in San Clemente
- 1 in Santa Barbara
- 1 at Van Nuys Airport

http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/Aviation_Businesses.aspx –
“At Santa Monica Airport, you can earn your Student License and solo with as little as 20 hours of flight time and earn a Private Pilot’s License in just over 40 hours.”

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Regarding total SMO-related accidents/incidents since 1982, here are the locations:
Santa Monica — 27
a. 22 at SMO
b. 4 in residential SM neighborhoods — 3 in Sunset Park (Dewey near Walgrove/23rd,
Ashland near 23rd, 12st & Navy) and one in Ocean Park (4th near Bay)
c. 1 in downtown (mall roof — helicopter rollover)

Los Angeles – 16
a. 4 in West Los Angeles — Webster Junior High School on Sawtelle (90064), Barrington near National,
Greenfield Avenue, and Sherbourne Drive
b. 3 in Mar Vista — Mountain View Avenue, Wade Street, Warren Avenue (90066)
c. 3 at Van Nuys Airport
d. 2 in Rancho Park — Hill Crest Country Club Golf Course, Rancho Park Golf Course (90064)
e. 2 in Venice — Penmar Golf Course, Rose Avenue
f. 1 in the Fairfax district — apartment building on Spaulding Drive near Fairfax High School (90036)
g. 1 in Chatsworth
h. 2 in the airspace over Santa Monica – one over 90405, one east of the VOR

Pacific Ocean — 8 – (offshore from Malibu, Marina del Rey, Santa Monica, and Venice)

Agoura Hills – 1
Agua Dulce – 1
Altadena – 1
Avalon – 1
Azusa – 1
Cloverdale – 1
Columbia – 1
El Mirage – 1
Helendale – 1
Joshua Tree – 1
Kernville – 1
Lancaster – 1
Las Vegas – 1
Lebec – 1
Malibu – 1
New Cuyama – 1
Newhall – 1
Ojai – 1
Paso Robles – 2
Point Lobos – 1
Santa Barbara – 1
Santa Paula – 1
San Clemente – 1
Simi Valley – 2
Spanish Springs, NV – 1

7 total accidents have been associated with Justice Aviation, including 4 fatalities:
8/21/1997, 3/28/2001, 12/24/2004, 5/3/2006, 7/1/2010, 3/10/2011, 8/29/2011

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Recent news coverage:

9/9/2011 — Santa Monica Mirror — “Santa Monica City Manager, Attorney to Meet with FAA Officials” — http://www.smmirror.com/?ajax#mode=single&view=32796

9/7/2011 — The LookOut News — “City Responds to Residents Fears in Wake of Plane Crash” — http://www.surfsantamonica.com/ssm_site/the_lookout/news/News-2011/September-2011/09_07_2011_City_Responds_to_Residents_Fears_in_Wake_of_Plane_Crash.html

9/6/11 — Santa Monica Daily Press — “City Officials to Meet with FAA over Flight Schools” — http://www.smdp.com/Articles-c-2011-09-06-72505.113116-City-officials-to-meet-with-FAA-over-flight-schools.html#print

9/6/11 — Santa Monica Dispatch — “Plane Crashes – Santa Monica Airport, 1970-2011 – Latest edition” — http://www.santamonicadispatch.com/2011/09/plane-crashessanta-monica-airport1970-2011-latest-edition/

9/3/2011 — Santa Monica Patch — “Plane crash prompts trip to Washington” — http://santamonica.patch.com/articles/plane-crash-prompts-dc-visit

8/31/2011 — The Argonaut — “Calls to close airport intensify after latest airplane incident” — http://www.argonautnewspaper.com/articles/2011/09/01/news_-_features/top_stories/2.txt

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SMO-related websites:

Santa Monica Municipal Airport website

http://www.smgov.net/departments/airport/

Santa Monica Airport Commission

http://www.smgov.net/Departments/Airport/Airport_Commission/Airport_Commission.aspx

The next Airport Commission meeting will be on September 26th, at 7:30 PM at City Hall, 1685 Main Street, 2nd floor, and will include a Flight School Workshop.

Resident groups concerned about the impacts of Santa Monica Airport on their neighborhoods:

1) Bad-Air — Santa Monica Airport Group — based in Venice

http://bad-air.org/

2) Community Against Santa Monica Airport Traffic — based in Santa Monica

http://www.casmat.org/

3) Friends of Sunset Park (FOSP) Airport Committee — based in Santa Monica

http://www.friendsofsunsetpark.org/airport/

4) Jet Air Pollution — based in West Los Angeles

http://www.jetairpollution.com/

5) Mar Vista Community Council (MVCC) Airport Committee — based in Mar Vista

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/MVCC-Santa-Monica-Airport-Committee/122753861137345

6) Ocean Park Association (OPA) Airport Committee — based in Santa Monica

http://opa-sm.org/Default.aspx?pageId=645066

7) Stop Santa Monica Airport Noise — based in Santa Monica

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Stop-Santa-Monica-Airport-Noise/126531844049377

8) Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Airport Committee — based in Venice

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Venice-Neighborhood-Council-Santa-Monica-Airport-Committee/180848151963457

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Aviation groups which support Santa Monica Airport (SMO)

1) Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association — http://www.aopa.org

“The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association, a not-for-profit organization dedicated to general aviation, was incorporated on May 15, 1939. From the start, AOPA has fought to protect the freedom to fly while keeping general aviation safe, fun, and affordable. Growth in the early years was slow, but by 2010 more than 400,000 individuals were AOPA members.”

“The AOPA Political Action Committee has helped us support more than 300 members of Congress, including members of the General Aviation caucuses in the House and Senate. In this election year, it will help AOPA support the re-election of members of Congress who have opposed user fees, fought onerous security proposals, and taken other action to support general aviation.”

554 entries on the AOPA website concerning SMO:

http://www.aopa.org/search/searchresults.cfm?access=p&entqr=0&restrict=&output=xml_no_dtd&ie=UTF-8&client=default_frontend&q=Santa+Monica+Airport&numgm=5&num=10&site=default_collection&ip=65.125.13.135&sort=date%3AD%3AS%3Ad1

2) Friends of Santa Monica Airport (FOSMO) — founded in 2011

http://www.friendsofsantamonicaairport.org/

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fosmo-Friends-Of-Santa-Monica-Airport/194647720557694

3) National Business Aviation Association (NBAA) — Founded in 1947 and based in Washington, DC, it represents more than 8,000 businesses — http://www.nbaa.org/

159 entries on the NBAA website concerning Santa Monica Airport:

http://www.nbaa.org/ops/airports/smo/

http://google.nbaa.org/search?q=Santa+Monica+Airport&entqr=0&ud=1&sort=date%3AD%3AL%3Ad1&output=xml_no_dtd&oe=UTF-8&ie=UTF-8&client=default_frontend&proxystylesheet=default_frontend&site=default_collection&x=19&y=6

4) Santa Monica Airport Association (SMAA) — incorporated in 1967

http://smaasmo.tripod.com/

https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Santa-Monica-Airport-Association/124084054306638

5) Santa Monica Airport EVAC — Emergency Volunteer Air Corps — founded in 1987

http://www.stauber.com/smoevac/index.html

Compiled by Zina Josephs — with our profound thanks

Note: Scroll down to see the Dispatch’s previous coverage of airport issues and incidents.

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