A small plane with three people on board flipped on its back Friday afternoon while attempting to land at the Santa Maria Public Airport.

The pilot and passengers aboard the fixed-wing, single-engine Lionheart plane managed to walk away from the crash with only minor injuries, according to the airport’s general manager Chris Hastert.

The crash was reported at 12:52 p.m. Weather conditions were mostly sunny, with some clouds and wind upward of 10 miles per hour at the time.

Hastert said the plane veered off of the runway into a grassy area a few hundred feet away as it was coming in. The plane flipped onto its nose and then onto its back upon impact, Hastert said.  “Fortunately, there were very minor injuries,” he said, “and we had an excellent response from the Santa Maria Fire Department, the Santa Maria Police Department, which handled the situation.”

The passengers and the pilot, who were out of the plane by the time emergency crews arrived, refused medical treatment, according to the Santa Maria Fire Department.

By 2 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration had released the aircraft so that it could be towed away from the airport.

Operations at the airport continued with only minor disruption, as airline flights were directed to use the airport’s crosswind runway.

The plane is registered out of Los Osos, according to the FAA.


September 5, 2014   Santa Maria Times  Staff report