Author Topic: Small plane crashes into El Cajon neighborhood pilot injured  (Read 1361 times)

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Small plane crashes into El Cajon neighborhood pilot injured
« on: April 29, 2024, 05:50:24 AM »

A small plane crashed into an El Cajon neighborhood just feet away from homes on Sunday evening, according to Heartland Fire & Rescue.

The crash was reported in the neighborhood of Lily Avenue and Clarke Drive in El Cajon around 6:27 p.m., Heartland Fire & Rescue posted on X, formerly known as twitter.  The plane appeared to crash on a sidewalk, very near a power line and close to homes. Before crashing, the plane was headed for Gillespie Field, about 2 1/2 miles away, Nevin said. The plane is a single-engine, Bellanca Super Viking.

"The pilot was transported to the hospital with moderate injuries and no further concerns," Nevin said. No one else was hurt in the incident and no homes were struck, he added.

The downed power lanes did affect some homes and were the biggest concern. But SDG&E has responded and secured the downed power lines so they are no longer a hazard, Nevin told NBC 7.

At one point more than 1,000 people were without power near El Cajon, according to SDG&E's website.

The El Cajon Police Department is coordinating with the Federal Aviation Administration to investigate the cause of the crash.

Witness accounts
Sean McGurrell is a pilot who was flying a similar aircraft on Sunday when he heard the distress call to the control tower.

"All of the sudden we hear from a certain aircraft, they have more of a distressed sound, they are a little bit more nervous in their tone, and they say they have a drop in oil pressure, and a rise in oil temperature. Now, if you’re a pilot or anybody who works within mechanics you know that high oil temps, low oil pressure is a recipe for disaster and within your training you’re taught that when you have that, you land as soon as possible and landing as soon as possible doesn’t exactly mean on a runway, it means exactly what this person did today, it means landing on a road," McGurrell said.

“He was reporting to the tower that he had an engine failure and that he had that loss of oil pressure, and he was saying that he wasn’t going to be able to make the runway," McGurrell said.

“From the time I heard his calls, to the time he was on the ground, was probably under two minutes, so to figure all of those and sort those challenges in under two minutes and be able to walk out alive is not only a little bit rare, but it’s probably a testament that that person was probably a very very good pilot," McGurrell said.

“You need oil in your plane for three main purposes: It cleans and cools, and lubricates the engine, when you don’t have that oil — in essence the lifeline of an engine — it’s the blood that is circulating, that is causing it to run properly, when you don’t have, that you’ll see time and time after again, someone having an engine failure just like this," McGurrell said.