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Small Plane Sustains 'Substantial' Damage Landing at Santa Monica Airport


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By Jorge Casuso

June 12, 2018 -- In an occurrence City officials called "uncommon," a small propeller plane made a bad landing at Santa Monica Airport (SMO) last week sustaining substantial damage.

The incident took place at 10 p.m. Thursday when a Cub Crafters single engine plane that seats two "ground looped on landing," according to the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

City officials attributed the accident to a bad landing on a windy night.

"It was a bad landing where the wing tip clipped the pavement," said Suja Lowenthal, Senior Advisor to the City Manager on Airport Affairs.

"We believe the incident was attributed to the wind," Lowenthal said. "There were no injuries, however there was damage to the aircraft."

The FAA's Flight Standards District Office in Los Angeles determined the damage was "substantial."

A similar accident involving the same model aircraft -- a CubCrafters CC19-180 -- took place in Kalispell, Montana in September of last year.

In that case, the FAA determined the craft "ground looped to the right and the left wing struck the ground."

The airplane sustained "substantial" damage, the FAA found.

The aircraft, which reaches a top speed of 153 miles per hour, received excellent reviews when it was rolled out in 2016.

"The XCub is exhilarating to fly and aesthetically appealing inside and out," said a review in the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA) magazine.

"The clever layout of the panel, passenger seating, and stowage compartments show it was built by people who know their customers and the features they value."

A 2016 review in AVweb, an independent aviation news source, lauded the aluminum aircraft's ability to land smoothly without wiggles or rough bouncing.

"It’s quite confidence inducing because those small bounces don’t require the massive control inputs to arrest that a really bad spring-steel bounce would," AVweb wrote.


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