Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Cessna 182T Skylane, N3525T: Fatal accident occurred February 06, 2018 near Gillespie Field Airport (KSEE), El Cajon, San Diego County, California

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

Additional Participating Entities: 
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; San Diego, California 
Textron Aviation; Wichita, Kansas 
Lycoming Engines; Williamsport, Pennsylvania 

Aviation Accident Preliminary Report - National Transportation Safety Board: https://app.ntsb.gov/pdf

http://registry.faa.gov/N3525T

Location: Santee, CA
Accident Number: WPR18FA084
Date & Time:  02/06/2018, 0654 PST
Registration: N3525T
Aircraft: CESSNA 182T
Injuries: 2 Fatal
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General Aviation - Personal 

On February 6, 2018, about 0654 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 182T airplane, N3525T, impacted into an industrial storage facility in Santee, California. The private pilot, one passenger, and a family dog were fatally injured; another family dog was not injured. The airplane was substantially damaged throughout the structure. The pilot/owner operated the airplane under the provisions of Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91, as a personal cross-country flight. Instrument meteorological conditions prevailed at the time of the accident and a visual flight rules (VFR) flight plan had been filed. The flight had departed Gillespie Field Airport (SEE), El Cajon, California, about 0645 and was destined for Eureka Airport (05U), Eureka, Nevada.

The tower at SEE was not open at the time the airplane departed; however, off-duty controllers were in the tower that was to open at 0700. One of the controllers who witnessed the accident called 911.

Witnesses in the surrounding area reported the presence of a low-level fog.

The accident flight was captured on video, and showed the airplane make a turn back to the east toward the airport. The airplane was observed entering and exiting the fog before the airplane entered a spin, and dropped below the roof-tops of several buildings.

Witnesses reported that the engine was not sputtering or backfiring but did sound like it was revving. They further reported that in the turn back to the east, the airplane was in a nose-high attitude, with the wings rocking back and forth before it started to spin and impact the ground.

The airplane was recovered to a secure facility for further examination.

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Manufacturer: CESSNA
Registration: N3525T
Model/Series: 182T T
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built: No
Operator: On file
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None 

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: Instrument Conditions
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KSEE, 387 ft msl
Observation Time: 1447 UTC
Distance from Accident Site: 1 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 10°C / 9°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: Calm
Lowest Ceiling: Overcast / 400 ft agl
Visibility:  2 Miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.01 inches Hg
Type of Flight Plan Filed: VFR
Departure Point: Santee, CA (SEE)
Destination: EUREKA, NV (05U) 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries: 1 Fatal
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 2 Fatal

Latitude, Longitude:  32.816667, -116.983333 (est)

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board investigation may contact them by email eyewitnessreport@ntsb.gov, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email assistance@ntsb.gov.


Cherril and John Longhurst


Police say 70-year-old Dr. John Longhurst and 71-year-old Cherril Longhurst died after their Cessna 182T Skylane crashed on the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue just before 7 a.m. Tuesday.




SANTEE (NEWS 8) - Two people and a dog were killed Tuesday when a light plane crashed into an industrial area adjacent to Gillespie Field shortly after taking off from the El Cajon airport.

The single-engine, four-seat Cessna 182 Skylane went down into a storage lot at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue in Santee shortly before 7 a.m., San Diego County sheriff's Lt. Glenn Giannantonio said.

The pilot and a passenger died in the wreckage of the plane.

The pilot was identified as Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherill was his passenger. They owned homes in Orange County and in Montana. Dr. Longhurst worked at UC Irvine Health. 

The couple would often visit San Diego to see their son Christopher - a doctor employed at UC San Diego Health. 

No one on the ground was hurt.

A pair of dogs that had been riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to an El Cajon veterinary hospital, where one of them succumbed to its injuries, said Dan DeSousa, director of the county Department of Animal Services. The other canine remained at the clinic in guarded condition in the late afternoon, he said.

The Cessna was headed west when it apparently lost power, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane maneuvered around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.

Witness Zachary Hill said that he and his sister watched as the aircraft went down and rushed to help, but found that the front of the Cessna had been utterly "destroyed."

Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up" from what he saw, Smith said.

Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.

Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Story and video ➤  http://www.cbs8.com


SANTEE, Calif. – A professor of medicine at U.C. Irvine and his wife died Tuesday when their light plane crashed shortly after taking off from Gillespie Field airport in El Cajon.

Dr. John Longhurst and his wife Cherril were flying the single-engine, four-seat Cessna 182 Skylane with their two dogs on board when it  lost power and went down at Cuyamaca Street and Prospect Avenue in Santee shortly before 7 a.m. No one on the ground was hurt.

Two dogs that were riding in the plane survived the impact and were taken to a veterinary hospital for treatment, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith told news crews. One of the animals seemingly was uninjured.

The Cessna was headed west when its engine apparently failed, Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane wheeled around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.

Witness Zachary Hill told reporters that he and his sister saw the aircraft go down and rushed to help, but found that the front of the Cessna had been utterly "destroyed.''

Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up'' from what he saw, Smith said.

Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.

Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com



EL CAJON, Calif -- Two large dogs were rescued from the wreckage of a small plane crash in Santee Tuesday morning, but one of them died of its injuries later at a veterinary hospital.

The dogs belonged to the pilot and passenger of the doomed Cessna, who did not survive. They were identified as John and Cherrill Longhurst of Montana. The Longhursts had previously lived in Escondido and Orange County.

The dogs were brought to the VCA Animal Medical Center In El Cajon.  One was brought in on a stretcher with very serious internal injuries, including trauma to its chest.  That dog succumbed to its injuries.

The second dog was also hurt in the crash but is said to be in guarded condition and is expected to recover.

Around 3 p.m., a couple arrived in a black car registered to Christopher Longhurst, a doctor with UCSD. He is believed to be the son of the pilot.  The man and woman were inside animal hospital for about 30 minutes, but they did not leave with a dog.

Hospital staff said the surviving dog is in guarded, but stable condition.

Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com




SANTEE, Calif. – Two people and a dog died in a small plane crash in Santee Tuesday morning, according to Heartland Fire officials.


The crash site was in the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue, about 1,000 feet from Gillespie Field. Authorities received a call about the Cessna crash just before 7 a.m.


The Cessna was headed west when its engine apparently failed, Santee Fire Chief Richard Smith said. As the pilot seemingly made a futile attempt to return to the airport, the plane wheeled around, then descended precipitously and plunged into the industrial yard northwest of Gillespie Field.


The two people did not survive the crash. Their two dogs were taken to a local animal hospital. One of the dogs ended up dying due to its injuries.


Authorities initially reported a possible third person was missing, but determined that was not the case and ended their search.


Alexis Hill was driving when she and her brother watched the plane come out of the fog. The plane appeared to be having trouble.


"The plane was swerving and started coming down toward our car," she said. "It swerved over to the construction site and went head down."


There was dense fog in the area at the time of the crash, a witness told FOX 5.


Though physically unharmed, a person who was in the storage yard when the plane crashed nearby was "shaken up" from what he saw, Smith said.


Crews with the Santee Fire Department and Heartland Fire & Rescue worked to contain a fuel spill near the wreckage.


Personnel from the Federal Aviation Administration were sent to the scene of the crash to document evidence. The government probe into what went wrong -- like all official inquiries into airplane crashes in the country -- will be handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.


Six months earlier, a different small plane crashed on North 2nd Street and El Rey Avenue near Gillespie Field and the two people aboard survived.


Story and video ➤ http://fox5sandiego.com




SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - Two people were killed Tuesday after a small plane crashed in a dirt lot in Santee.

According to authorities, the crash happened at 6:56 a.m. in the 9700 block of Prospect Avenue, just outside of Gillespie Field and a few blocks from Prospect Avenue Elementary School.

Santee Fire officials told 10News the Cessna took off from Gillespie Field at an unknown time, and when the pilot noticed a mechanical issue, the pilot tried to turn around and land safely but was unable to do so.

Officials confirmed to 10News that two unidentified people died in the crash. Two dogs were also on the plane at the time of the crash. Both dogs were taken to the hospital following the crash. 

One of the dogs later died and the other is still being treated for injuries. 

No one on the ground was injured in the incident.

Two teens on their way to school told 10News they spotted the plane and saw that it looked like it was struggling to stay in the air. They pulled over because they thought the plane was going to hit their car.

One of the teens said, "The plane was completely destroyed … there was no way you could've gotten to anyone inside."

Several Santee residents, including the teens who witnessed the crash, noted the foggy conditions in the area on Tuesday morning, but there is no official word on if weather was a factor in the crash.

Story, video and photos ➤ https://www.10news.com


















Tuesday’s plane crash in Santee, which killed two people and injured two dogs, will join more than 200 other aircraft-related accidents that have occurred at or near Gillespie Field, according to federal data.

Based on records from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, which tracks and investigates all plane crashes and minor accidents, 214 accidents tied to Gillespie Field have resulted in 17 fatalities and 22 injuries from January 1978 to December of last year.

Those numbers do not include the two people found dead in the small plane that crashed in Santee shortly after taking off from Gillespie Field Tuesday morning.

The Cessna 182 Skylane was found upright, leaning on its left side, appearing to have crashed nose first into the glass company’s yard on Prospect Avenue near Cuyamaca Street.

Witnesses reported hearing some kind of throttling after the single-engine plane took off and headed west, indicating a mechanical issue.

Officials said it appears the pilot circled around after takeoff and was trying to make it back to the airport, came, but came up short and landed in the yard. Two dogs survived the crash and were taken to a local veterinarian to be checked out. No one on the ground was injured.

Data show Cessna planes were involved in 34 percent of all Gillespie incidents, some 73 events, the most among all other types of planes. It’s followed by Pipers with 42 incidents and Beech planes with 14.

The San Diego Union-Tribune combined FAA and NTSB data for the analysis. Only accidents that list Gillespie as an associated airport — indicating that the event took place within 3 miles of Gillespie, or involved an aircraft that was taking off or approaching Gillespie — were included.

Data show not all incidents are major crashes. The vast majority, about 130, resulted in minor or no damage to the aircraft, most likely because the event took place on the ground during taxiing. Less than 10 planes were destroyed and about 60 listed substantial damage.

Story, video and photos ➤ http://www.sandiegouniontribune.com

9 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's the same sad story. Pilot loses engine power on takeoff and the first frantic thought is "get back to the airport". Whether a single or twin, losing an engine at low altitude...in this case only a few hundred feet... means a quick speed bleed off and insufficient altitude to avoid a stall. Fly it straight ahead and find a place to put her down. The risk of killing or injuring innocent bystanders is going to be the same if you choose to try and make an emergency landing as it would be if you stall it in a sharp turn and spin into the ground trying to get back to the runway, as in this situation. Weather was IFR in foggy conditions and the pilot, though I don't know his ratings, should probably have waited to depart. Now you've thrown possible spatial disorientation into the mix. But having seen the video, this was clearly an aerodynamic stall. Just my humble opinion.

Anonymous said...

Records show the pilot obtained his instrument rating on 9-28-16 and purchased the Skylane on 9-26-17. I wonder how much time he had in a Cessna 182, but I agree with the above comment. I was taught in my pilot training to pick a landing spot 30 degrees to either side of the nose and stay straight out off the departure end of the runway if you lose an engine on climb-out. He probably didn't want to mess up his nice plane in an off-airport landing but maybe they both would have survived and the insurance could have got him another plane. RIP fellow aviator. So sad.

Anonymous said...

In the video is sure does not look or sound like engine failure, it was pulling power all the way to the ground. I'm not sure what the printed statement that someone heard the engine "throttling" is supposed to mean. MOST people have no clue about aviation. The video shows the airplane first coming into view while in a descending fairly steep left hand turn and engine RPM was increasing because of the decent. This would be typical of a pilot who has experienced spatial disorientation and is loosing control of the aircraft. The weather conditions were not VFR, visibility was obviously quite low. The in-flight view would definitely not have had an outside view of the horizon. Possibly the vacuum system / pump failed which would render the attitude indicator and directional gyro inop. I'm sure the feds will be looking very closely at that. The electrically driven turn coordinator would have been the only trustworthy gyro available if the vacuum system failed. I agree the airplane was in an aerodynamic stall (which has NOTHING to do with the engine) at the end of the video. For whatever reason, the pilot appeared to be unable to control the airplane strictly by reference to instruments. Very sad that it happened, but the decision to depart in such low visibility, probably below landing minimums, was not a good one.

Anonymous said...

After seeing this tragic video, this pilot did NOT have an engine failure but lost control due to spatial disorientation. What caused it will have to be determined. Checking on-line, this Skylane only had 1,237 TTAF & boasted a low-time 195 SFRM engine but was equipped with steam gauges. I wonder if the vacuum pump was re-built at that time of engine overhaul? Being that he was a fairly new instrument pilot, I agree with the above comment that it wasn't a wise decision to launch into such conditions. Maybe he got distracted switching radio frequencies and lost control? I can't believe that someone actually got this on video as it should help the NTSB greatly in solving this crash. I'll be following the updates closely.

Jim B said...


We have one of these, actually a 2002 T182T. Except for the turbocharger, they are identical.

For reference, the stock a/c has a dual system of left and right vacuum pumps with a check valve on both so that if either pump fails, the other is fully capable of providing sufficient vacuum.

This aircraft also has a std 2-axis KAP-140 with altitude hold. If you are disoriented, then simply push the A/P button to get wings level on any heading and then Hdg to follow a heading on the heading bug with wings level.

These folks flew into hard IMC and began a progressively steep turn that ended in a stall from which was never recovered from.

The whole thing was avoidable. Ours even has the same beautiful paint scheme. It makes me shiver to think that could be us, and our dog too.

Sad to see.

Roy T said...

I agree with the above comments, however, having two large dogs in a light aircraft could also be relevant. What if one, or both of them became spooked by something and attempted to get out, causing the pilot to lose control as a consequence. I don't think that I would fly with large dogs in a Cessna 182.

Ken Pryor said...

Such a strange sequence of events. I have to wonder if there was some kind of distraction within the airplane, such as the dogs as mentioned above. Still, it sure looks like he had enough altitude to recover but you can see he was yanking back on the yoke and making the stall worse. It'll be interesting to see the final report and determine if anything mechanical was going on, but it sure looks like he just got in over his head and couldn't get out. Very sad.

Anonymous said...

I wonder why the link to the Youtube video of this accident sequence was suddenly taken down? I wonder if the poster was threatened with legal action but the video clearly showed the aircraft under power diving from the overcast in a steep left turn only to go wings level on almost the same heading as takeoff and then appear to regain control clear of the clouds but then fail to lower the nose on the verge of an aerodynamic stall and save it. It's as almost as if something was interfering with his elevator control?

Anonymous said...

YouTube search = Santee Plane Crash