On Thursday, September 8, 2022, an aircraft at Santa Monica Airport crashed and caught fire on the runway shortly before 4:30 p.m. The aircraft is reported to be a Piper Sport according to the Federal Aviation Administration or FAA. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board or NTSB are currently investigating the cause of the incident.
According to the Santa Monica Fire Department, two victims perished due to the incident. The two victims were not identified. Video from KTLA-TV Channel 5 showed fire and police vehicles on the runway surrounding a charred spot on the ground.
The plane was owned and operated by a local flight school. The two killed on board were a new flight student and the flight instructor. The plane had recently taken off for a flight along the coast of Malibu at about 3:30 p.m. and, according to an eyewitness, the plane was landing at Santa Monica Airport. The aircraft touched down and then made an abrupt maneuver before crashing infield at the airport.
Although it is unclear what caused the fire in this incident, typically, aircraft crashes occur either due to pilot error or mechanical failure, or a combination of both mechanical failure and pilot error. After a pilot error and mechanical failure, such causes as poor landing conditions, weather, and wildlife strikes are significantly less common to cause a crash.
If you or someone you know has suffered injuries or the loss of a family member due to an aviation-related injury, please contact an attorney at Abraham, Watkins, Nichols, Agosto, Aziz, & Stogner by calling 713-222-7211 or toll-free at 1-800-594-4884.