Friday, December 23, 2022

Cessna 150A, N7032X: Fatal accident occurred December 22, 2022 on Santa Monica Beach, California

Those who may have information that might be relevant to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigation may contact them by email, and any friends and family who want to contact investigators about the accident should email You can also call the NTSB Response Operations Center at 844-373-9922 or 202-314-6290.
Federal Aviation Administration / Flight Standards District Office; Los Angeles, California 

Aircraft crashed under unknown circumstances on the shoreline. 

Date: 22-DEC-22
Time: 22:37:00Z
Regis#: N7032X
Aircraft Make: CESSNA
Aircraft Model: 150
Event Type: ACCIDENT
Highest Injury: FATAL
Total Fatal:  1
Flight Crew: 1 Unknown Injuries
Pax: 1 Fatal Injuries
Aircraft Missing: No
Activity: PERSONAL
Flight Phase: EN ROUTE (ENR)
Operation: 91

Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter

Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter died when a small plane crashed on the beach just south of the Santa Monica Pier Thursday afternoon, officials confirmed.

The crash happened in shallow surf around 3:15 p.m.

A witness captured video showing the Cessna 150A gradually dropping from the sky, hitting the sand and then flipping over not far from beachgoers.

Minter was elected to the Santa Monica City Council in 1955 and served as mayor from 1963-1967. He later served as city attorney for Arcadia and a judge for the Los Angeles County Superior Court.

“The City is grateful for Mr. Minter’s public service and we join his family in mourning his passing, the city said in a news release. “Flags in front of City Hall will be lowered to half-staff and a City Council meeting in the new year will be adjourned in honor of Minter’s service.”

Two people were onboard the aircraft when the pilot reported engine issues after taking off from the Santa Monica Airport.

The pilot was transported to a local hospital where their condition remains unknown.

No civilians were reported injured on the beach, officials added.

The Santa Monica Fire and Police Departments responded to the scene and were assisted by L.A. County Lifeguards. Firefighters had to partially tow the aircraft out of the surf to prevent it from washing away.

The crash is under investigation by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA is expected to release the preliminary results of their investigation in the coming days.


  1. There are videos of the entire accident sequence, still baffling how one of them died. I watched a podcast a few days ago discussing a similar fatal ditching (N16JR) in the Santa Monica area that happened in 2006, the NTSB determined that the occupants were not wearing shoulder harnesses (because they didn't have any) and died due to drowning with complications from blunt force trauma. Their airplane was fully intact like this one.

    Here is a quote from that report:

    "The FAA published Seat Belts and Shoulder Harnesses, Smart Protection for Small Airplanes (AM-400-90/2). In the publication it states that if an airplane was manufactured without shoulder harnesses, the owner should obtain a kit to install them from the manufacturer or manufacturer's local representative. In addition, the publication notes that seat belts alone will only protect the occupant in very minor impacts and that using shoulder harnesses in small aircraft would reduce injuries by 88 percent and fatalities by 20 percent."

    1. "still baffling how one of them died."

      You're aware that the passenger who died was 95 years old (born in 1927). Do you expect a 95-year-old to be able to survive a physical impact of any consequence??

    2. I admire Mayor Minter for being in an airplane at age 95. Yesterday's accident was very unfortunate. But I don't find it baffling that a 95-year-old would not survive the accident.

      The pilot had the right idea to land on the hard-packed sand. The airplane just came up a little bit short. Where the airplane could've flown 20 feet further, then everyone may have walked away. Again it was very unfortunate. Peace.

  2. Preventing upper body collision with the instrument panel in relatively survivable accidents doesn't get enough consideration. The case of the young flight school instructor who got bashed against his Cherokee panel comes to mind. He survived but required a series of reconstructive surgeries.

    He had flown in shoulder harness equipped aircraft but the Cherokee he was using for his own startup flight school was just lap belts:

  3. I can't admire anyone for being in a GA aircraft at 95 years old. At some point, you have to recognize the risk. Unless you are unable to.

    1. He was a passenger. Not a pilot.

    2. I admire everyone who is alive and I am happy for those of us, regardless of age who enjoy the freedom to decide on how to spend our time. This tragic accident highlights the risk of anyone flying in a single engine aircraft over areas with minimal forced landing space. It also involves the predicament of finding yourself hanging inverted in a very small space with waves surrounding your downed airplane. Not surprising an elderly person might have difficulty surviving that. But I admire the heck out of him! RIP

    3. You sound like a true Ftard! Go back in your momma’s basement and eat your Cheetos and watch SpongeBob.

    4. Nobody cares what you admire, whiner.

    5. So much hate over something trivial … sad that so many in our “society” have succumbed to this level.

    6. The now prevalent hatred behaviors were trained into people by subtle but continuous nudging from news media, social media and marketing. It is a much cruder method of societal control than winning over people by debating and logical analysis. The spillover is poisoning minds and public discussion everywhere.

    7. You have nailed it. It is the end of rational dialogue to follow the leftist crap who are "educating" my grandchildren.

    8. In the USA people get fed a steady diet of emotionalized and sensationalized TV and other media from an early age on around the clock and everywhere, airports, waiting rooms and especially at home. A home without a TV is "weird" here. Every banality gets analyzed superficially and repackaged as advice or fear. But mostly commercials.
      That helps in creating a neurotic anxious people who become good consumers and worker bees happy to get paid little in exchange for jingoism to be proud of. And no, it's not the left who's behind that, it's those who "own" this country.
      Take a look at Newton Minow's "Vast Wasteland" Speech, already from 1961!
      That's what you get if capitalism runs unchecked and controls every aspect of public life: commercials, banalities and emotions instead of reason, science and art that make life so much fuller.

      Be safe up there.

    9. Some of you people are off the rails....

    10. "That's what you get if capitalism runs unchecked and controls every aspect of public life: commercials, banalities and emotions instead of reason, science and art that make life so much fuller."

      What a bunch of BS. First of all, when is capitalism EVER unchecked? From finance to industry? From accountability to safety? What do you think all those government agencies are like the SEC and OSHA are for?

      Second, if ANYTHING needs to be checked up, how about checking up our FEDERAL GOVERNMENT in WASHINGTON with out of control wasteful spending on taxpayer AND borrowed freaking MONEY!!!!

  4. Anyone have the ATC audio? Seems cut the accident from the archive clip...

    1. Nothing was cut. The content is there, was always there. ATC videos on youtube removed dead air gaps in the audio and rammed the sequence together, creating the false impression that the emergency onset was immediately after takeoff. It wasn't.

      See later comment down thread for time hacks/ADS-B correlation.

  5. Having survived a Cessna 150 crash into a forest I can attest first hand that shoulder harness' save lives. The insurance company, the salvage team, the trauma center were all baffled at how I survived the crash. It was hands down the seat belt and shoulder harness and a hell of a lot of luck. Oh BTW no head trauma whatsoever.

  6. Flaps don't seem to be deployed. Perhaps the pilot forgot them. Too, I know the beach and the sand is fairly hard-packed in the area they touched down......
    But yeah, shoulder belts....

    1. The POH manual in most light singles states that you don't deploy flaps during an engine out until your aim point can be confirmed to be made just as in regular landing configuration when powered. This is all in the best glide speed numbers. In the video, the pilot clearly was trying to extend the flight path as much as possible to the very last few seconds. Perhaps he could have dumped full flaps and ground effected to just clear over the retreating water waves which is what they hit to flip over. But that's not our business to judge. A man lost his life and RIP to his loved ones and friends.

  7. It is unfortunate that Mr. Minter was in an airplane accident, but the stories so far have not discovered his interest and involvement in aviation:

    "Raised in Santa Monica, Minter served in The United States Marine Corps. He is an avid aviator, and his wife, Doris, is a member of the Ninety-Nines, the international organization of women pilots."


    Airmen registry shows he and Doris BOTH having Commercial Pilot and Mechanic A&P certs, ASEL, Instrument (plus AMEL for him), his last third class med exam 1998, hers 2013. Aviationdb shows N8361D, a Beech J35 registered to him 1998 thru 2014, N265VA RV-12 2014 thru 2017.

    It seems to be risky these days to express admiration about a man and his wife for their aviation interests, so the info above is offered without comment.

    1. Also, from a 2020 article:

      "Both Rex and Doris have been avid aviators since 1948. She has participated in eight trans-continental air races, and together, they have flown to Alaska, Quebec, Belize, the Florida Keys and 2000 miles around Australia."

      (See pdf sheet 10)

  8. The dope pilot flew away from the airport for some time after declaring an emergency. He then botched the landing by coming up short in the surf.

    1. No, he did not fly away from the airport after declaring an emergency. You got misled by time compressed comm presentations provided as four minute videos on youtube. Easy enough to fact check using Adsbexchange and the LiveAtc recording.

      -Cleared for takeoff @7 minute mark on LiveAtc
      -ADS-B shows airborne by @23:08:23Z
      -Flies along coast, gets halfway to Malibu
      -No airspeed or altitude trouble so far
      -ADS-B shows a turnback starting @23:14:00
      -"I'd like to return" @14 minute mark LiveAtc
      -ADS-B speed & altitude degrading on the way back
      -Declares Emergency just before 16 minute mark
      -ATC offers "left base for runway 3" @17 minute mark
      -ADS-B shows crossing the pier @23:18:04

      Simple to listen to comm audio source files for yourself:
      This accident's file is found by selecting:
      Date: 22 December, Time: 2300-2330Z, Feed: "KSMO Tower #1"

    2. A tuber channel misrepresented the track by showing "I'd like to return" text overlay on the track right after takeoff. The "I'd like to return" call is actually heard much later, around the 14 minute mark in the unedited LiveAtc recording, at which time ADS-B shows the corresponding position is at the turn back location, halfway to Malibu.

      The tuber's incorrect synchronization is made worse by text placed at the start of the video titled "Nature of the situation" stating that the pilot wanted to return "just after departure" when in fact he made that call several miles up the beach while well on the way to Malibu.

      The channel that posted that video is attempting to mimic a well known channel that properly time synchronizes track position to comm timing. The C150 pilot does not deserve to be smeared by the shoddy imitation.

  9. Newer pilot here so my apologies for any ignorance. I remember reading a story about a pilot who ditched in the ocean just off shore from a beach, maybe 20-30 yards out, and walked away uninjured. If there is an option because the beach is completely unoccupied, is there an ideal choice to make between aiming for the sand or the water?

  10. You MUST ditch with full flaps and almost stall it right before impact with the water. Ditching in a foot or two of water that’s “spilling” onto the sand, as he appeared to do, is so much easier than ditching outside the breakers where you would encounter wave crests and troughs.

  11. He wanted to ban jets at SMO and ultimately close it. He's getting his wish. But I got my wish too....

    1. You have any proof of that? I highly doubt a certified pilot who clearly was enjoying flying out of SMO would want to close it.

    2. A Ninety-Nines newsletter described the judge's wife Doris's successful effort to keep SMO open back when she was on the commission. How could it be said now that either of them wanted it closed? They still had their own aircraft at SMO through 2017.

      "Santa Monica, California Airport Commissioner Doris Minter, is beginning her third year as member and chairwoman of the city's five member board. In her job as Commissioner Doris is in the forefront of efforts to retain the very busy Santa Monica airport which is threatened by a very small but vocal group of neighbors and an unsympathetic City Council. Recently she appeared on Los Angeles television representing airport interests in a debate with the Airport Neighbors Association."

      Clipped from the July 1975 Newsletter:
      (See pdf sheet 5)

      Also, a 1967 99's newsletter asks members to write Mayor Minter letters, because the Orange County Chapter was still fighting to keep SMO open at that time.
      (See pdf sheet 15, top left)

      If not for the Minter's efforts, SMO would have been closed and surrendered to developers decades ago.