Friday, November 18, 2016

Cessna 172N Skyhawk, Sac Aero Flying Club Inc., N6610D: Fatal accident occurred November 18, 2016 near Half Moon Bay Airport (KHAF), San Mateo County, California

The National Transportation Safety Board traveled to the scene of this accident.

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report  -  National Transportation Safety Board:


FAA Flight Standards District Office: FAA Oakland FSDO-27

NTSB Identification: WPR17FA023
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, November 18, 2016 in Moss Beach, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 172N, registration: N6610D
Injuries: 1 Fatal, 1 Serious.

This is preliminary information, subject to change, and may contain errors. Any errors in this report will be corrected when the final report has been completed. NTSB investigators either traveled in support of this investigation or conducted a significant amount of investigative work without any travel, and used data obtained from various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On November 18, 2016, about 1120 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172N, N6610D, sustained substantial damage after impacting terrain and objects in a residential area near Moss Beach, California, following a loss of control while on final approach to Half Moon Bay Airport (HAF), Half Moon Bay, California. The private pilot sustained serious injuries, and the non-pilot rated passenger was fatally injured. The personal cross-country flight was being operated in accordance with 14 Code of Federal Regulation Part 91, and a flight plan was not filed. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed for the flight, which originated from the Sacramento Executive Airport (SAC), Sacramento, California, about 1015, with HAF as the destination.

In a telephone conversation with the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge five days after the accident, the pilot reported that when he was about one-half mile from the end of runway 12 at an altitude of about 500 feet, with flaps full and an airspeed of 60 knots, he encountered light turbulence. He then reduced the flap setting to between 15 to 20 degrees, and increased power. At about this time he encountered very strong turbulence, which caused the wings to rock back and forth, followed by a very sudden downward push, which then resulted in the airplane going into a hard right bank attitude. The pilot stated that he tried to counter the right turn with an increase in power and left control yoke input, but the airplane continued in an uncommanded sweeping right turn. The pilot further stated that the airplane remained in the right turn very low to the ground, would not respond to the left control yoke input to counter the right turn, and would not gain altitude with the throttle pushed fully in. The pilot opined that as he was getting lower and closer to the ground, the airplanes' wings started to respond to the left control yoke input. However, at about this time he observed trees and houses in front of him. The pilot reported that he then attempted to slow the airplane down by reducing power and pulling back on the control yoke in an effort to minimize impact with terrain. He added that he thought the airplane impacted terrain in a right-wing-low attitude, but at this point everything was a blur until the airplane came to a stop, at which time he remembered his legs were pinned under the instrument panel. The pilot stated that prior to and during the flight leading up to the accident, there were not anomalies with the airplane or engine. The HAF weather reporting facility at the time of the accident was wind 190 degrees at 10 knots, gusts to 14 knots, sky clear, temperature 17C, dew point 3C, and an altimeter reading of 30.03 inches of mercury.

The wreckage was recovered to a secure storage area for further examination.

The San Mateo County Coroner's office has identified 57-year-old Melissa Magee as the deceased person in a small plane crash that hit Moss Beach Friday morning. 

The incident occurred around 11:20 a.m. A Cessna 172N Skyhawk belonging to the Sac Aero Flying Club in Sacramento crashed into a home near Park Way, just north of the Half Moon Bay Airport. 

Magee was onboard the plane with one other person who has not been identified. On Friday, the San Mateo County Coroner's office confirmed that the woman had died at the scene. The other occupant was reportedly flown by helicopter to Stanford Hospital with injuries. On Saturday, the Coroner's Office said it could not confirm the condition of the other occupant nor identify who was flying the plane. 

The plane’s tail number indicated it was owned by the Sac Aero Flying Club. The plane had departed from the Sacramento Executive Airport and was headed to the Half Moon Bay Airport, confirmed FAA Public Affairs Manager Ian Gregor.

Fire crews, California Highway Patrol, San Mateo County Sheriff’s deputies, PG&E employees, and Federal Air and Aviation officials responded to the scene.

One house in the neighborhood appeared to have been hit by the plane, although most of the structure appeared undamaged. The owners were not home at the time, sheriff’s deputies said, though they had been notified of the crash. A truck parked next to the home also appeared to have been damaged.

One eyewitness reported noticing that the plane was in distress before it crashed.

“The plane was tilted sideways,” said Marie Cabural a Half Moon Bay resident who was driving in the neighborhood with a friend when she noticed the plane overhead before it crashed into the house. “We thought, that’s going to crash.” 

The plane is owned by a group of owners who use a hangar at the south end of the Sacramento Executive Airport, said Nik Stroiney, owner of Sacramento Aviation Inc., one of the flight schools and aircraft rental companies at the airport where the plane departed from. Stroiney said Sac Aero Flying Club is an informal club and not affiliated with any of the flight schools at the airport. He said he did not personally know any of the plane's owners. Privately owned planes and charters make up most of the airport’s traffic, said an airport spokesperson.


MOSS BEACH (CBS SF) — One person is dead after a small plane crashed into a home in Moss Beach not far from the Half Moon Bay Airport Friday morning, authorities said.

San Mateo County Fire received a call at 11:18 a.m. of a small plane crashing north of the Half Moon Bay Airport.

According to fire officials, the plane ended up at 1065 Park Way near Orval Avenue, at edge of a residential neighborhood near the airport. Initially one person was reported injured, but authorities later confirmed that one person was dead.

Fire crews responded to the scene with heavy rescue equipment. The San Mateo County Sheriff’s office also responded.

A man, apparently the pilot, was pulled from the wreckage alive. Minutes later he was airlifted to a trauma center.

His passenger — reported to be his wife — was killed.

No one on the ground was hurt.

The Cessna 172N Skyhawk airplane had flown out of Sacramento Executive Airport Friday morning, according to authorities.

Video from Chopper 5 showed the wreckage of the plane at one end of a home. There appeared to be some damage where the plane hit the structure, but most of the home seemed to be intact.

Patti Gallinetti lives one block away and saw the dramatic rescue unfold.

“It was just one crash, like metal. Just BOOM!” explained Gallinetti. “It’s an experience that I hope we don’t have too often.”

Damage on the ground showed the plane first clipped the corner of one house, then smashed into a parked pickup truck before tumbling across the street into the garage portion of the other house.

One experienced Half Moon Bay pilot told KPIX 5 the position of the plane indicated that it was probably on final approach when it went down.

“It could have been anything. Fuel exhaustion, pilot error, pilot incapacitation. It’s extremely rare,” said pilot George Golda.  “I’ve been living here for 35 years.  This is the only crash I’ve ever seen.”    NTSB and FAA investigators will take over the scene to try and find out exactly what caused the crash.

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MOSS BEACH (KTVU & BCN) -- One person was killed and a second person was hurt when a small plane that departed from Sacramento and was en route to the Bay Area crashed into a home Friday morning near the Half Moon Bay Airport in Moss Beach, authorities said

The crash of the Cessna 172N Skyhawk with two people on board was reported at 11:18 a.m. in the 1000 block of Park Avenue, fire and Federal Aviation Administration officials said. The identities of the victims were pending. 

One victim died at the scene. The pilot was airlifted to a local hospital for treatment of serious injuries.  It was not clear if anyone on the ground was injured during the incident. We're told the family was not home at the time of the crash.

"We saw it landing and doing some circling," said witness Ismal Sanchez.

When it came down, it appears it clipped the roof of one home, damaged a utility truck and then crashed into another home's garage.

"I heard a noise which I know now is a plane was really strange. It was like crunching metal, it sounded like a car wreck except it was longer than a car wreck would be," said neighbor Alan Brennan.

Ismal Sanchez says he was working in the neighborhood and ran to help when he heard the crash.

He says they feared the plane would explode so he had to act fast.

"I shut the electricity from the house because there was a car and gas spilling on the ground so it was kind of risky but when you want to save someone you don't think about that," said Sanchez.

Meanwhile, he says others tried to help the pilot who was trapped in the plane. I heard the pilot say 'my wife my wife'," said Sanchez.

"The firefighters were taking him out of the front driveway of the house in between the wreckage of the plane," said neighbor Jake Ward.

Emergency responders worked to secure the area for federal investigators, sheriff's spokesman Detective Salvador Zuno said.

A spokesman for the FAA said the plane had departed from Sacramento Executive Airport and was heading to Half Moon Bay Airport when the accident occurred.

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