Saturday, June 10, 2017

Piper PA-28-161, N2171D, owned and operated by National Air College International Inc: Accident occurred June 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, California

The National Transportation Safety Board did not travel to the scene of this accident.

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Van Nuys, California

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board:

National Air College International Inc:

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA124 
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Saturday, June 10, 2017 in Carpinteria, CA
Aircraft: PIPER PA28, registration: N2171D
Injuries: 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 may not have traveled in support of this investigation and used data provided by various sources to prepare this aircraft accident report.

On June 10, 2017, about 1430 Pacific daylight time, a Piper PA28, N2171D, was substantially damaged following impact with terrain while maneuvering about 4 nautical miles (nm) northeast of Carpinteria, California. The private pilot, the sole occupant, was seriously injured. The airplane was owned and operated by National Air College International Inc., San Diego, California. The personal cross-country flight was operating under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, and no flight plan had been filed. The pilot departed Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport (MFY), San Diego, California, about 1100, with the destination reported as the Santa Ynez Airport (IZA), Santa Ynez, California.

In a report submitted to the National Transportation Safety Board investigator-in-charge, the pilot reported that the coastline was covered in overcast clouds, and over Santa Barbara (SBA), about 19 nm west-northwest of the accident site, the clouds were at 2,200 ft above ground level (agl). The pilot stated that due to the clouds, he began to descend to get the ground in sight, but at 2,100 ft agl he was still in a thick cloud and could not see outside. The pilot concluded by saying that after he failed to make a decision to climb or contact air traffic control for assistance, he crashed into a mountain ridge. The airplane came to rest upright on a westerly heading with its left wing bent back at mid-span.

The pilot was able to contact emergency responders by cell phone. Search and rescue personnel located the downed airplane and rescued the pilot by helicopter about 1700. A strong presence of fuel was detected at the accident site. The pilot reported no mechanical anomalies with the airplane prior to or during the flight that would have precluded normal operations.

The weather reporting facility at SBA revealed a ceiling of 2,800 ft agl about 35 minutes prior to the accident, and a ceiling of 2,700 feet agl about 20 minutes following the accident. Winds were reported out of the south and southwest at about 7 knots.

A pilot is recovering from his injuries after the small plane he was flying in went down on Saturday, June 10, 2017, in a remote area of the Los Padres National Forest near the Santa Barbara/Ventura County line. At approximately 2:28 p.m., the 31-year-old Korean pilot, who was flying solo, managed to call 911 from his cell phone to report that he had crashed. Ventura County Fire dispatchers through their conversation with the injured pilot were able to determine his GPS coordinates and pinpoint his location.

The Santa Barbara County Public Safety Dispatch Center was contacted and confirmed that the single-engine Piper Cherokee plane had departed from the Santa Barbara Airport approximately 20 minutes prior to notification of the crash. The aircraft was based out of San Diego. The Personnel from the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District, Montecito Fire Protection District, and Ventura County Fire Department responded but because of the remote location and dense vegetation were not able to access the scene.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire Air Support Unit and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SBCSAR) team were deployed. The Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team and Carpinteria Fire personnel were in the process of sending crews to hike down from Divide Peak and also to send an SBCSAR crew to hike up from Rincon Canyon to the crash site.  

Fortunately, the low cloud layer held off just enough for two Santa Barbara County Sheriff/Fire helicopters to access the area. Copter 2 responded to locate the crash site and once the location was confirmed, Copter 3 was called into effect the rescue. Santa Barbara County Fire Aircrew Paramedics aboard Copter 3 were lowered on a hoist down to the injured pilot. They initiated patient care and extricated the pilot from the plane. He was hoisted up to Copter 3 and transported to a local hospital with serious injuries. The successful recovery of the subject by Air Support averted a potentially all night operation by ground personnel.  

The Federal Aviation Administration is conducting an investigation into the cause of the crash.

After the large search and on our way back to our station, SBCSAR was paged out to the report of a plane down in the wilderness area behind Carpinteria. Our team members responded to both Divide Peak Rd and to the intersection of Hwy 150 and Rincon Hill Rd. to coordinate with other responding agencies. 
Plans were made to insert additional SAR personnel with extrication equipment should the rescuers at the crash site need additional help to get the pilot out of the wreckage.

The pilot was hoisted out and transported to Cottage Hospital. 

Single engine plane crash within Los Padres Forest boundaries near Jameson Lake. Responders have staged a helicopter to find the exact location in Carpinteria.

Read more here:

A 31-year-old pilot was rescued after the small plane he was flying crashed Saturday in Los Padres National Forest near Carpinteria, officials said. 

A report of an downed airplane came in just after 2:30 p.m. near Jameson Lake as the aircraft traveled from the Santa Barbara Airport, according to Battalion Chief Michael Gallagher of the Carpinteria-Summerland Fire Protection District. 

The Federal Aviation Administration said the plane departed from the San Diego area for Santa Ynez, according to The Associated Press.

Crews got longitude and latitude coordinates of the crash site after Ventura County fire dispatchers relayed from Camarillo Airport air traffic controllers that the crash was confirmed, Gallagher said.

Based on the coordinates, crews knew the crash site was in a remote area of the forest not accessible by four-wheel drive, Gallagher said. Search-and-rescue teams were deployed to hike in and a helicopter was used to help find the crash site, Gallagher said. 

The site was found and a medical crew was able to hoist down into the area despite earlier concerns of low clouds, Gallagher said. The crew found the male pilot alive with serious injuries to his legs, Gallagher said. He was treated on the scene, then hoisted back into the helicopter, which took him to Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital, Gallagher said. He was the only person in the plane. 

The Santa Barbara County Fire Department and Santa Barbara Sheriff's Office responded to the incident and the Ventura County Fire Department was called in to assist. 

It was the third crash of a small plane in the region in recent days. A plane broke up in the air on June 1 north of Ventura and crashed, killing the pilot, Michael Brannigan, of Lake Sherwood. Then on June 4, father and son James Harlan, 57, and Dylan Harlan, 15, both of Calabasas, were killed when a small plane crashed in the Santa Rosa Valley. 

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