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Plane Flips While Landing at Santa Monica Airport

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By Lookout Staff

June 6, 2023 -- A single-engine Cessna plane flipped as it landed at Santa Monica Airport Monday afternoon, marking the third accident involving the City's airport in nine months.

Unlike the previous crashes, which involved fatalities, the pilot emerged uninjured from the overturned aircraft that sustained only minimal damage after it skidded on the runway at around 3:18 p.m., Fire Department officials said.

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There was no fire caused by the accident, said Fire Department Capt. Patrick Nulty. It was unclear why the airplane flipped.

The accident comes less than six months after former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter, 95, died after the small single-engine plane he was a passenger in crash-landed south of the Pier

According to the FAA, the Cessna 150 flipped over after landing on the beach south of the Pier at around 3:15 p.m. The pilot, who survived the crash, reported engine trouble after leaving Santa Monica Airport.

The independent aviation site AV Web reported that "the pilot requested a return to (the airport) just after takeoff, citing a rough-running engine.

Minter died at a local hospital after he and the pilot were extricated from the plane by paramedics ("Former Santa Monica Mayor Dies in Plane Crash at 95," December 25, 2022).

The accident took place less than four months after the pilot of a single engine aircraft and his passenger died after the plane operated by a local flight school crashed at Santa Monica Airport.

Firefighters responding to the late afternoon crash found the Piper Sport two-seat aircraft in the infield engulfed in flames ("Two Killed in Plane Crash at Santa Monica Airport," September 9, 2022).

"The aircraft was inbound to the airport when it touched down, made an abrupt upward maneuver before crashing in the infield," Nulty said.

Santa Monica Airport made international headlines in 2015 when actor Harrison Ford was seriously injured after his World War II-era single-engine plane crash landed at Penmar Golf Club in Venice.

A preliminary report by the National Transportation Safety Board found power failure caused Harrison to crash his plane shortly after taking off ("Harrison Ford’s Plane Lost Power Following Santa Monica Airport Takeoff, NTSB Says," March 11, 2015).

The single-runway airport -- which is flanked by homes in Santa Monica's Sunset Park Neighborhood -- is scheduled to close in 2028 under a 2017 agreement with the FAA.

Under the agreement, the City was given the go-ahead to shorten the runway, effectively blocking most jets, which for decades were the cause of noise and safety complaints from residents who live near the century old airport.

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