Saturday, July 15, 2017

Cessna 310R, N8729: Accident occurred June 30, 2017 near John Wayne-Orange County Airport (KSNA), Santa Ana City, California

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

Additional Participating Entities:

Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Riverside, California
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas
Continental Motors Group; Mobile, Alabama 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: 

NTSB Identification: WPR17LA136
14 CFR Part 91: General Aviation
Accident occurred Friday, June 30, 2017 in Santa Ana, CA
Aircraft: CESSNA 310R, registration: N87297
Injuries: 2 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 30, 2017, about 0935 Pacific daylight time, a Cessna 310R multi-engine airplane, N87297, collided with the freeway following a loss of right engine power shortly after departing from the John Wayne-Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California. The private pilot, and passenger sustained serious injuries. The aircraft was registered to Twin Props 87297, LLC., and operated by the pilot under the provisions of 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 as a personal flight. Visual meteorological conditions prevailed and a flight plan was not filed. The flight was destined for Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT), Deer Valley, Arizona. 

A witness located in a car on the north-bound freeway, captured the accident airplane in flight and subsequent impact sequence on video. The airplane was first observed in a right-wing low, 45-degree bank, in a slightly nose high attitude descending towards the freeway from the north. The wings leveled as the airplane crossed over the freeway about 20 feet above ground level. After losing sight of the airplane momentarily, the video continued with the airplane impacting the center median divide and opposing lane. The airplane exploded and caught fire. 

Radar data obtained from the Airport Surface Detection Equipment (ASDE-X) at SNA, showed the accident airplane taxi and then depart runway 20R. Shortly after takeoff, over the departure end of the runway, the pilot announced a mayday and entered the right traffic pattern for the runway. ATC replied by clearing the airplane to land on runway 20R. The airplane continued on the downwind leg of the traffic pattern and ATC informed the pilot that his landing gear was retracted. The pilot replied by stating he would put the gear down on final. The airplane was near the end of the downwind leg of the traffic pattern when the pilot stated that he lost engine power on the right engine. The airplane then turned right for the runway and the last radar returns from the flight track were near the accident site.

According to the FAA inspector onsite, the debris field was about 150 feet long, crossing over both the north and south-bound lanes. Impact marks and soot were found on the center median K-bar, and continued diagonally across the southbound lane to the K-bar on the edge of the freeway. The left-wing tip tank and left main landing gear were found further down the debris field in the northbound lane. The left elevator and right-wing tip tank were found on the southbound lane. About 150 feet down the debris field in the southbound lane was the main wreckage. The main wreckage was partially consumed by fire and both engines and propellers remained attached. The horizontal stabilizer separated from the wreckage and was found further down the debris field. Airplane debris impacted several vehicles on the freeway. 

The wreckage was recovered to a secure location for further examination.

SANTA ANA ( – A husband and wife who were critically injured while aboard a small plane that crashed on the 405 Freeway near John Wayne Airport have been released from a Santa Ana hospital and are expected to make full recoveries, a hospital official said.

Francis Pisano, 62, and Janan Pisano, 55, both of Cota de Caza, were taken to OC Global Medical Center in critical condition with spinal fractures and cuts following the crash, which occurred about 9:35 a.m. on June 30.

The couple were released Wednesday and were “on a path to full recovery,” according to the hospital’s Jeff Corless, who did not provide additional details.

“From all of us at Orange County Global Medical Center, we send them off with all our care and support as they continue to recuperate,” Corless said.

Janan Pisano released a statement through the hospital expressing the couple’s hope to return soon to normal activities, Corless said.

“Frank and I are pleased to share we have been discharged from Orange County Global Medical Center and are on the road to a full recovery,” Janan Pisano said. “We are both receiving rigorous physical therapy treatment to regain our strength and return to normal activities in the near future. Frank and I know that we are alive today because of the incredible and heroic acts of civilians and first responders who immediately rushed to our aid on the 405 freeway.”

“We received swift and thorough care from local police officers, the Orange County Fire Authority and Orange County Global Medical Center. We are so incredibly touched by the outpouring of love and support from our son, Ronnie, daughter Joanna, family, friends, and the entire community.”

State records show Francis Pisano is the owner of the Cessna that experienced engine problems shortly after takeoff, prompting him to try to return to the airport.

Pisano radioed that he had lost one of his engines just after takeoff and then made a frantic mayday call to air traffic controllers seconds before the plane came down on the freeway north of the MacArthur Boulevard exit.

“We got a mayday! We got a mayday! … I can’t make it back to the airport,” he could be heard saying.

Pisano attempted to fly the aircraft to the airport westbound over the freeway, but it lost altitude and its tail clipped a center divider wall, according to the CHP.

The Cessna continued westbound before colliding with off-duty Avalon firefighter John Meffert’s 2005 Mitsubishi. In the southbound lanes, the plane also collided with a 2008 Toyota with Uber driver Blackstone Hamilton, 51, behind the wheel.

Ji-Yong Dong, 23, of Ontario, crashed a 2006 Toyota into the plane’s debris in the southbound lanes, as did northbound motorist John Triplett, 69, of Folsom, who was driving a 2008 Toyota.

No one was injured other than the Pisanos.

Jana and Frank Pisano

Avalon Fire Department Capt. John Meffert

Supervisor Janice Hahn on Tuesday, July 11, honored Avalon Fire Department Capt. John Meffert, who is credited with saving two individuals trapped in the wreckage of a June 30 plane crash on the 405 Freeway. The City Council will reportedly honor Avalon Fire Department Capt. John Meffert at 6 p.m., July 18, in the council chambers at City Hall.

Supervisor Hahn presented Meffert with an official County scroll in appreciation of his bravery. Hahn’s district includes the City of Avalon. Meffert was off-duty on June 30th when he was driving on the 405 freeway toward John Wayne Airport and noticed an aircraft flying unusually low.  It was only seconds later that he realized the aircraft was headed straight toward him. The plane hit the front of Meffert’s car, but he was able to maintain control of the vehicle.

The small plane carrying a pilot and passenger crashed a short distance away from him on the 405 freeway.  Although the plane was nearly engulfed in flames, Meffert was able to pull both the passenger and pilot out of the wreckage and to safety.  He was also able to perform an initial lower neurological check on the victims and direct other individuals that had gotten out of their cars to help.

“Most of us run from danger, Capt. Meffert is one of the few who regularly runs towards it,” said Supervisor Hahn.  “He demonstrated extraordinary heroism putting his own life on the line to save the lives of two strangers in need.  That is why, on behalf of the Board of Supervisors and the entire County family, I am proud to offer Capt. Meffert this scroll in appreciation of his bravery.”

1 comment:

  1. Still no final report on this? Its been quite some time. I see that the crash in Riverside a few months prior to this one has been published. It took 749 days from the time of incident to publish. By this rate the report for this should be out 2019-07-19 which was 54 days ago.