Another small plane crashed at Santa Monica Airport Sunday afternoon.
The single-engine plane had just taken off from the airport when engine trouble caused its pilot, who was alone in the plane, to head back to the airport.
Lloyd Saunders, who has a Naval Aviation, was in his back yard in the 2200 block of Hill Street when the plane flew over his house. He knew immediately that something was wrong.
A few moments later, the plane flew over Lynn Barker’s house in Mar Vista, just south of the airport. In an email to Zina Josephs, Friends of Sunset Park, she said, “I heard the plane in trouble as it went over our house… the engine stalled a couple of times, then stopped.”
Barker went immediately to the airport – and shot these photos.
A KTLA News crew arrived almost simultaneously with Barker at the site of the crash.
KTLA reported, “The single engine Long-EZ left the Santa Monica runway and lost engine power shortly after, said Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.
“’They circled back and landed, but they landed hard and skidded off the runway,” Gregor said.
“The plane allegedly crashed down in an area near some homes and office building that sit adjacent to the airport.
“Reports from the scene indicate firefighters sprayed the downed plane with fire-retarding foam, which successfully put out the small fire.
“Santa Monica firefighters reported that the pilot needed to be extricated from the plane, and had suffered moderate to serious injuries.
“The pilot has been transported to a nearby hospital.
“Federal Aviation Administration controllers closed the entire airport immediately following the accident.
“Crash investigators have been called to the scene”
Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, Describes the Rutan Long-EZ as
“ belonging to NOAA…(and)is a homebuilt aircraft with a canard layout designed by Burt Rutan’s Rutan Aircraft Factory. It is derived from the VariEze, which was first offered to homebuilders in 1976.”