Sunday, January 09, 2022

Cessna 172H, N8056L: Accident occurred January 09, 2022 near Whiteman Airport (KWHP), Pacoima, Los Angeles County , California

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.

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

Additional Participating Entity:
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California

Location: Los Angeles, California 
Accident Number: WPR22LA076
Date and Time: January 9, 2022, 14:00 Local
Registration: N8056L
Aircraft: Cessna 172H
Injuries: 1 Serious
Flight Conducted Under: Part 91: General aviation - Personal

On January 09, 2022, about 1400 Pacific standard time, a Cessna 172H, N8056L, sustained substantial damage when it was involved in an accident near Los Angeles, California. The private pilot sustained serious injuries. The airplane was operated as a Title 14 Code of Federal Regulations Part 91 personal flight.

The pilot departed runway 12 at Whiteman Airport on a visual flight rules local flight. Shortly after takeoff, during the initial climb, the pilot initiated an emergency landing and touched down on an asphalt surface highway about 265 feet west of the runway centerline, and about 50 feet beyond the airport’s southernmost perimeter. During the accident sequence, the airplane collided with a railroad crossing arm, and subsequently came to rest on an active northbound/southbound railroad track.

The airplane came to rest with its nose oriented generally to the east. The airplane sustained damage to the forward left fuselage, the left wing and the left wing lift strut. Additionally, the left main landing gear and the nose landing gear had separated from the airplane. Bystanders and law enforcement officers extricated the pilot from airplane. Seconds later, the airplane was struck by a passenger train that was traveling southbound. The train’s engine struck the airplane’s left wing and aft fuselage. 

Aircraft and Owner/Operator Information

Aircraft Make: Cessna 
Registration: N8056L
Model/Series: 172H 
Aircraft Category: Airplane
Amateur Built:
Operating Certificate(s) Held: None
Operator Designator Code:

Meteorological Information and Flight Plan

Conditions at Accident Site: VMC 
Condition of Light: Day
Observation Facility, Elevation: KVNY, 770 ft msl 
Observation Time: 13:51 Local
Distance from Accident Site: 5 Nautical Miles
Temperature/Dew Point: 23°C /-4°C
Lowest Cloud Condition: Clear 
Wind Speed/Gusts, Direction: / ,
Lowest Ceiling: None 
Visibility: 10 miles
Altimeter Setting: 30.22 inches Hg 
Type of Flight Plan Filed: None
Departure Point: Los Angeles, CA 

Wreckage and Impact Information

Crew Injuries: 1 Serious
Aircraft Damage: Substantial
Passenger Injuries:
Aircraft Fire: None
Ground Injuries: N/A 
Aircraft Explosion: None
Total Injuries: 1 Serious
Latitude, Longitude: 34.254307,-118.40925 (est)

The man who survived after his plane crash-landed onto railroad tracks in Pacoima earlier this year, had an emotional reunion over the weekend with the quick-acting police officers that saved his life.

Police body cameras show the moments when officers pulled pilot Mark Jenkins out of his downed plane right before it was hit by a Metrolink train, saving his life back in January 2022.

On Saturday, four Los Angeles Police Department officers from the Foothill Division were honored for that life-saving rescue. Jenkins shared his appreciation for the officers who saved him.

"I told them I loved them and thank you for saving my life, and a bunch of great, crazy guys," Jenkins said. "They did their duty and I thank them for that very much."

An appreciation event was held at the Condor Squadron. The officers also got to fly with the Squadron.

The officers reflected back to those moments in January when they jumped into action.

"Just thinking back on that moment just hearing the train and feeling the vibrations through the floor, and just hearing crumpling metal, and I was just like 'wow, that was close, that was really close'" said LAPD officer Christopher Aboyte.

"Being in the moment, it was just, we needed to take action," added LAPD officer Joseph Cavestany. "It was just kind of second nature."

Jenkins' plane had engine failure and crashed onto Metrolink tracks near Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, less than a mile from the LAPD Foothill Division office.

"The timing I think was just impeccable. And, you know, they say everything happens for a reason. You know, I was down in that area, I don't patrol nearby there that day, but I had some other business that put me there, and I think, just God was on everyone's side that day," said LAPD officer Robert Sherock. "I'm just glad everything worked out.

Jenkins says he doesn't remember much about the plane crash but he does remember when his engine failed he had one goal in mind.

"I had seconds to make a decision on what to do," Jenkins said. "I had always known that if I had an engine failure and I wasn't any higher than the tower, I knew that I had to take evasive action and land somewhere that didn't kill people. My goal was to land where I didn't kill anybody. I take that risk, they don't. And I didn't have anybody in my way except for the railroad track."

The officers' quick action saved Jenkins. The group was thankful to get together.

"God put us in the place to be at the right time, and we were able to do our job," said LAPD officer Damien Castro. "And fortunately everyone made it out OK, so, just doing our job."

Following that plane crash, Congressman Tony Cárdenas tweeted that he was calling on the FAA and the NTSB to create a report examining the safety concerns of Whiteman Airport.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl has joined lawmakers raising concern over the role of Pacoima’s Whiteman Airport, in response to recent nearby accidents, including a Jan. 9 crash that resulted in a  Metrolink train colliding with a small plane that touched down on rail tracks not far from the airport.

At Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, Kuehl is expected to submit a motion calling for the Department of Public Works to begin identifying what data and documents would be required to begin the process of requesting that the Federal Aviation Administration close the airport.

The county has not yet decided whether to initiate such a request, but Kuehl’s motion would lay the groundwork for such an action should such a recommendation move forward.

The board meeting is Tuesday at 9 a.m. The agenda and how to view the meeting are here.

The action comes in response to multiple plane crashes, including one earlier this month, in which a Cessna 172 made an emergency landing onto a row of nearby tracks. Police managed to rescue the pilot and sole occupant of the wrecked aircraft moments before a Metrolink train slammed into it at full speed. That crash is under investigation by local and federal authorities.

In 2020, in response to earlier such crashes and other concerns raised by neighbors, the board passed a Kuehl-sponsored motion to create a Community Advisory Committee that has since spent several months assessing concerns raised by the airport’s continued operation.

Kuehl said the panel is charged with developing a “sustained management plan,” which will include assessments of noise pollution, exhaust, air quality and health risks.

The plan is also expected to plot out “how existing facilities could be used differently, such as a potential role in disaster operations, community emergency notification systems, creation of recreational amenities, landscape improvements, additional community benefits and Whiteman’s economic impact on the community,” according to Kuehl’s motion.

Such a plan could lead to the county considering launching the complex process of asking the the FAA to close the airport.

Kuehl’s asking the board to direct county Director of Public Works Mark Pestrella to report back in 60 days with the information needed to launch a closure effort, which would include:

The history of the airport, including how the land was acquired and any previous federal grants or other government obligations;

An assessment of Whiteman’s role in the community;

A look at how the site fits into the network of other Southern California airports;

An appraisal of the value of the facility and the land it sits on;

Suggested next steps in the process.

Earlier this month, U.S. Rep. Tony Cardenas sent a letter to the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board  requesting a comprehensive safety review of the airport.

“The regularity of these incidents raises serious concerns for the safety of the communities and families surrounding Whiteman Airport, as well as the pilots, personnel and staff that have access to or are located at the airport,” wrote Cardenas, a Democrat whose 29th District includes Pacoima.

“Tragically, this latest incident reflects yet another example of the public safety threat Whiteman Airport continues to pose to my constituents, and why I’ve been a consistent voice for its closure,” Monica Rodriguez, Los Angeles City Councilwoman for the 7th District, said in a statement responding to the Jan. 9 crash.

Lawmakers and neighbors have also raised concern over other crashes:

In 2020, a single-engine Cessna 182 approaching Whiteman knocked over power lines before falling onto parked cars on a residential street. That pilot, who died in the crash, was alone in the aircraft and a member of the Civil Air Patrol.
In 2018, a 12-year-old was among two killed when a Cessna 150L that had taken off from Whiteman crashed into a building. The pilot, who also died, was a 60-year-old flight instructor, according to media reports.

Cardenas said the NTSB’s database shows that 16 aviation accidents related to Whiteman Airport have taken place since 2009.

“All airports have a responsibility to meet necessary airport safety and operation standards in order to fulfill required certification and ensure that all safety practices are met to the full extent as required by the Federal Aviation Administration and relevant state and local agencies,” Cardenas said.

“Fair and transparent investigations like these keep communities safe, result in safer skies, prevent loss of life and ensure airports meet the necessary safety standards.”


  1. Video of LA cops pulling injured pilot out and train hitting aircraft moments later


    1. way back in 1978 I had a Piper PA-20 Pacer based at San Juan Capistrano, CA. There was an accident in which a tow plane pulling a banner dropped it in the river channel parallel to the runway. There were some kids playing there and the banner hit a little girl, killing her. There had been a lot of pressure from local residents for years to close the airport. This tragedy led to its closure. I went to a hearing concerning this matter and there was a rep. there from the FAA and he said that since 1945 over 400 small airports in California had been closed and not one built. The debate degenerated into "How many more children must die! before this public nuisance is ended? So, it was voted to close it. I moved my plane to Meadowlark airport in Huntington Beach and sold the plane not long after. I still miss it. That field was also closed not long after. It's all houses now. The plane is still flying up in Alaska.

    2. According to an article, it was the plane's propeller, not the banner, that killed the girl:

      Still, interesting story. Thank you for sharing your perspective.

  2. Video # 2. Flying Debris almost hits bystanders..


  3. After looking at the fatal crash of N939CP at Whiteman last year, I thought the relatively unobstructed area around the railroad tracks parallel to the runway would have been a good engine out option if you couldn't make the runway. However, the one complication with that option is the TRAIN!

  4. Does ATC have the emergency numbers for train track landings? Because this had been my plan for engine failure on takeoff from KFUL RWY 06...

    1. I dunno, but in this case the tower called 911 and you'd hope 911 would have a way of warning Metrolink control. However, from the videos above, enough time passed for multiple police vehicles to respond, block the intersection and even put up police tape, yet in all that time, the Metrolink train never got the message and barreled through the intersection like it didn't even slow down. Yes, I know trains can take a long distance to stop but this wasn't a huge freight train. The track is pretty much straight as an arrow between the two Metrolink stops at either side of this accident (Sylmar/San Fernando & Sun Valley), so you would think the engineer would have seen it and been able to slow down more than it did.

    2. Yeah, definitely a major failure to communicate.

    3. consider the potential train pax casualties in an emergency stop!

    4. We in SoCal already know from the fatal Metrolink accident a few years ago that the engineers are usually paying attention to anything beside the train!

    5. The time for the cops to arrive was mere seconds on this crash, as the Foothill division police station is just a stone throw south of that intersection...

  5. He took off on runway 12 and crashed just past the numbers on the far end of same runway. He radioed Mayday, then 3 seconds later "on the railroad tracks".

    1. Yup, here is the ATC audio and set to a video of some guy doing a halfassed simulation of the accident in FSX.

    2. ^^ The always-crappy FSX person's videos should be banned. Don't give any views to that by clicking on it....


    1. Thank you for the Fox News link ... greatly appreciated!

      Many loving, caring thoughts are with you as your recover, Captain. Hoping to hear you are well again soon!

    2. Wow! That’s a heroic example of how much they protect us. God Bless these men and women in uniform.

  7. I just want to acknowledge the officers bravery and selflessness. They need a huge raise for the duty they serve above and beyond what their fellow government employees would ever do and yet get paid way too much. Support law enforcement and fire stations before the fast talking salesmen not doing their job in the legislature!

  8. Maybe a US railway expert could comment but I would have thought a train crossing should have fixed cameras along with an automated system that would be in place to deploy a red signal far down the line if those cameras "saw" any ostensibly fixed object blocking the tracks or even just stationary but still an incursion on the crossing area. I realise trains take a very long time to stop but that is the whole point.

    1. Gates are operated by train completing circuit between the rails. Trains are operating on CTS (Centralized Train Control) and ABS (Automatic Block Signal). CTS allows a dispatcher to control train movement by operating signals and switches. He is in radio communication with train and the only link to the outside world. ABS automatically turns a block red that is occupied in both direction and turns the next block in both directions yellow. I was a conductor for about 10 years but it has been a while so the information might be dated.

  9. Guy was trying to land on street that runs perpendicular to RR tracks. Train didn't attempt to stop before hitting tail. Trains brakes are operated from an air valve. The engineer releases air in a controlled fashion to slow the train. The brake valve has an emergency position that releases all air pressure and also reduces power to run position 0, idle, In RR venacular "Big Hole" There are also emergency valves at other locations so another crew member or even passengers can bring the train to an emergency stop. Once you Big Hole it the train has to come to a stop and reset the valve and recharge the train's air system.

    1. And to add to that trains take HUGE distances to stop when compared to road vehicles, at 70 mph it e well over a mile, or between two and three minutes. And that's in emergency brake.

    2. Wrong, Bob Smith. According to the Metrolink fact sheet, Metrolink trains can stop within 1/3 of a mile.
      That works out to less than a minute.


  11. This is the guy that crashed this plane:

    1. Yep, rescue pictures match the age of the older Mr. Jenkins, which public records show to be 70 years old.

  12. Careful, there are 3 co-owners per FAA record.

    1. If this is the guy, looks like his medical was expired too.

    2. There's a Mark Atkins Jenkins of Valencia who has a PPL issued 5/27/2005 and third-class medical effective 7/2019. There's also a Mark Evan Jenkins, same address, PPL issued 5/13/2012 with a third-class medical issued 11/2011.

  13. as noted before, consider the potential train pax casualties in an emergency stop!

    1. This is utter nonsense. Even the most extreme emergency stop would be very unlikely to cause any passenger casualties, whereas hitting anything on the tracks can easily cause a derailment which is far more likely to cause passenger injuries and death. No sane train engineer is going to see an aircraft on the tracks and think "oh well sucks to be that pilot" and just keep on trucking to plow through it because he's afraid of stopping a little fast.

    2. "This is utter nonsense. Even the most extreme emergency stop would be very unlikely to cause any passenger casualties, whereas hitting anything on the tracks can easily cause a derailment..."

      You beat me to it! That's just not logical thinking. The train will not stop on a dime in an emergency brake situation throwing people 70mph into the seat in front of them. Further, at the speeds this train was traveling it is not out of the very real risk of a derailment which not only would put passengers in peril but those on the side streets as well on foot and in their vehicles. That train was hauling ass and had it derailed no telling where and how far the engine and other cars would have traveled off track.

    3. Get over yourself. The engineer would have had time to warn passengers. These are not runaway trains, bud.

  14. That train conductor is a little dangerous at the helm.

    1. No reason the train could not be braking as it approaches the plane, another human error... And no radio alert..from 911 or who ever does it..must have had at least 4-5 min. to warn..

  15. My understanding is high-speed passenger rail use disc brakes. The disc braking systems provide smooth operations and low noise levels during braking as well as low maintenance costs. thus expect 1/2 mile slowing in urban systems, and with greater train spacing could be longer to complete a full stop to prevent pax injuries and tearing up track !!

  16. No warning horn going off, NTSB will find major fault...

  17. Come on pilots. At the same speed, what's easier to stop, a baseball or a bowling ball (a C-172 1,669 lbs or a C-17 282,400 lbs)? Bigger planes need more runway and bigger brakes to stop, right?

    The locomotive alone weighs somewhere in the neighborhood of half a million lbs (more than 200 tons). A single rail car weighs 60-70 TONS...there were several attached to that train. That entire passenger train probably weighed in the neighborhood of 500 TONS. That's a million pounds....and it was hauling the mail (probably coasting along at and easy 50mph).

    Consider the mass, speed, momentum, energy... There is NO WAY to stop that thing in time...not unless the engineer could see a couple miles into the future. There isn't even any real benefit in trying to slow it down. If it hit the plane at 10 mph, it would still crush like a beer can.

    With full emergency breaking applied, the train would need about a mile to stop.

    That guy was double lucky. It just wasn't his day.

    1. Two miles to stop? Malarky! The Metrolink isn't a massive freight train. In this report, it says using various stopping techniques, a Metrolink train can go from 74 mph to zero in a distance of between 2300-2800 feet.

      None of these braking tests used full on emergency braking the entire time, so it's likely an emergency stop could be performed in an even shorter distance.

    2. Engineers constantly see obstructed crossings ahead that don't clear out before the distance remaining would be too short to get stopped. Can't expect them to "dynamite the brakes" 2000 feet or more before every obstructed crossing.

      A train engineer wouldn't initiate braking in advance of an obstructed crossing unless some communication alerted of the situation or the nature of the obstruction was easily recognized from a distance sufficient for stopping.

    3. An engineer sees a plane on the tracks and assumes it will clear out before he gets to the intersection? Yeah right...

      The far more likely that the engineer was complacent and not paying attention. This wouldn't be the first time a Metrolink engineer ran into something because they were too busy texting and not paying attention.

    4. According to Metrolink's fact sheet:

      The length of each cars is 68 feet. Rough calculations from the videos shows 5 metrolink cars passing through the crossing in about 4 seconds. That works out to a rough speed of 58 mph. The fact sheet also states the average distance for the train to stop is 1/3 mile (1760 feet) and the average speed on the Antelope Valley line is 35 mph. This would suggest that the train made little to no attempt to slow down at all before the accident.

  18. The train hit the tail of plane only, at a slower speed the cops would have more time and if hit at slower speed he would have survived since the plane barely moved after being hit..

    1. Take that back, plane did get moved, not sure how far...

    2. Just Google "train deceleration rate", I saw 0.15 G. A very good car is in the neighborhood of 1.0 G, a bad one maybe 0.8 G (in braking).
      That number, and the speed you start at, pretty much determine your stop distance.
      The train isn't really that bad- 5 or 6 times the distance of most cars. And, in general, excellent visibility for the train pilot..a high vantage point....gentle curves, almost flat, the expectation of a clear path, making the decision to brake for almost anything an easier one to make quickly....the guys field of view probably usually covers several times the distance needed to stop.
      It seems likely that the plane was in sight for more than the 8-900 feet needed to stop. As always now, I wonder if texting was involved. Really can't stand the prevalence of that. If so, the guy shouldn't be allowed to drive a tricycle any more.
      But, maybe there's a better reason for not stopping.

    3. Maybe he was programming GPS to find destination?

  19. Having lived in this area for 40+ years I can tell you there have been many vehicle on the tracks collisions. it seems to me from what I have observed over the years no attempt has been made to communicate <> the police / fire / rescue agencies and the various operators of these tracks. Before Metro link the only traffic on this rail line was slow moving freight trains. Now that high speed passenger traffic has increased so has the death rate. More traffic may be put on these track by California high speed rail. It seems to me the pico second the police saw the plane on the track dispatch should have been notified to contact the rail operator to stop all traffic on the line

    1. Kinda typical, Gov. agencies are know it alls but can't figure out their own issues...

    2. "Kinda typical, Gov. agencies are know it alls but can't figure out their own issues..."

      Yet the politicians and bureaucrats that run said local, state, and federal agencies think they know it all to tell us how to live our lives and dictate them accordingly!

  20. "Blog visitor reported a community violation." I've not seen this one before.

    1. The visitor probably reported the screenshots from the officer's bodycam.

    2. KR had 2 posts that were in violation: Beechcraft 58 Baron, N585CK and Cessna 172H, N8056L.

    3. Seriously, that user needs to get off this blog then. This is a blog reporting on accidents/incidents. Some of it maybe shocking. If the visitor cannot handle a picture of a little bit of blood, you are looking at the wrong blog.

    4. Whoever is reporting these needs to leave. This is not the blog for that person. Or KR needs to look at moving off google.

    5. I was a railroad technical trainer before I retired and I participated in a number of brake tests involving passenger trains. With normal braking trains decelerate at about 1 MPH per second. In emergency braking the rate is 1.5 MPH per second. Any additional braking results is steel on steel sliding which reduces braking effect. At 70 mph it takes 47 seconds to stop with emergency brakes after a 10 to 15 second delay for the brakes to start application from first movement of the brake control. The train is moving at about 102 feet per second at 70 mph so it will travel at least 1020 feet before the brakes begin slowing the train and then 47 seconds at an average speed of 35 MPH for a little over 2400 additional feet before it stops. The airplane was at a minimum distance of 3420 feet for the engineer to see, react, and stop the train. I doubt anyone would expect to see a wrecked airplane at that distance and be able to recognize what it was and react in time to stop the train.

    6. Good stuff. I am certain the train operator was mortified. High acuity low frequency events can't truly be practiced. The Monday morning QB will use his 20/20 hindsight to say what they "would have done." Bottom line is this man survived and those on scene saved his life.

  21. I read the report before it was removed and saw nothing shocking about it, even the pictures. The only "Shocking Content" is the ads with vulgar content but Google will not remove those. There should be a way for users to read the report if they desire.

  22. No one on the ground has ever been injured from an accident at Whiteman in its entire existence. The problem isn't the aircraft. The problem is the railroad crossings. There should be overpasses, or the train should go below ground level like in Burbank. But our representative, Monica Rodriguez didn't cut a deal for Pacoima's safety like Burbank's leaders did.

    1. The problem is the same as all airports that experience housing development encroachment over the years. There is now a push going on for "re-envisioning the airport".

    2. Exactly! None of the accidents around Whiteman have injured any bystanders, so this is all typical anti-airport hysteria. Someone should investigate what Rodriguez's financial incentives are to bulldoze the airport and replace it with a bunch of gentrified housing. I'm sure she's on the take from more than one developer.

      Closing the airport will simply shift the traffic to the already busy Van Nuys airport. The "risk to residents" won't go away and will just be imposed on another community, although now it will be magnified by making one of the busiest GA airports in the nation even busier, and also increase risk by eliminating one more emergency landing option in the San Fernando Valley. Not to mention impacting the Civil Air Patrol, emergency services, and other extremely beneficial organizations based at Whiteman, as well as numerous youth outreach programs. Rodriguez should be ashamed of herself.

    3. FAA grant terms often provide a barrier to closing that stymies developers. Here is a news clip:

      "Los Angeles County accepted $234,000 in federal Airport Improvement Program grants for Whiteman Airport in 2020. In accepting the grants, airport owners agree to continue operating the airport for at least 20 years from the date of receipt, an FAA spokesman said."

      "Re-envisioning" might be delayed if those grant terms endure.

  23. If politicians Cardenas and Rodriguez really want to protect innocent bystanders in Pacoima from being killed by vehicles, they should shut down the METROLINK not the AIRPORT. Just a quick google search reveals multiple pedestrian deaths in Pacoima in recent decades due to the Metrolink, including one per year over the last 3 years:
    March 2021:
    April 2020:
    November 2019:
    August 2015:
    January 2011:

    Compare that to ZERO bystanders killed by aircraft around Whiteman airport.

    The real answer as to why politicians want to close the airport versus the Metrolink is that there is no money to be made by closing the railroad tracks and building a massive housing project like there is with the airport.

  24. Yeah, let's close the airport down because, after all, airplanes don't fall into neighborhoods unless there's an airport nearby. Duh...

  25. Anybody remember when in 1986 a Continental MD-80 lined up for landing at Whiteman before being alerted and called off by Burbank Tower?

  26. @ airnav
    Ownership: Publicly-owned. Owner: LOS ANGELES CO
    KBUR - Bob Hope Airport (4 nm SE)
    KVNY - Van Nuys Airport (5 nm SW)
    KSMO - Santa Monica Municipal Airport (15 nm S)
    KLAX - Los Angeles International Airport (19 nm S)
    KHHR - Jack Northrop Field/Hawthorne Municipal Airport (21 nm S)

    Airport Operational Statistics
    Aircraft based on the field: 223
    Single engine airplanes: 207
    Multi engine airplanes: 11
    Helicopters: 3
    Gliders airplanes: 2

    Aircraft operations: avg 269/day *
    58% local general aviation
    41% transient general aviation
    <1% military
    <1% air taxi
    <1% commercial
    * for 12-month period ending 31 December 2020

  27. Rodriguez and Kuhel never mention that Los Angeles County Fire bases and flies fire/rescue helicopter operations from Whiteman. The heliport is in the northeast corner. Lives saved with rescue and firefighting must not be a priority.