By LT | AuxBeacon News Contributor
[Editor’s Note: We received this contribution in our inbox. Thank you for your contribution. We agree with the contributor’s note, the Civil Air Patrol has an unusually high unsafe flying record.]
A Civil Air Patrol airplane crashed into a neighborhood just short of Whiteman Airport in Pacoima on Thursday, Nov. 12, killing the pilot and setting several cars ablaze.
The single-engine Cessna 182 crashed on approach to Runway 12 around 11:56 a.m., Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The plane crashed a few hundred feet short of the runway in front of several homes, knocking down power lines, and the flames spread to trees and vegetation. But firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to the structures.
Security camera video showed the plane flying low over houses before it appeared to cart-wheel in a crash that ended in an explosion of flames in front of a house. At least two cars burned and debris was scattered in a yard.
The pilot was the only person on board, Gregor said. The Los Angeles Fire Department confirmed that the pilot died. No other injuries were reported.
Radio traffic between the pilot and control tower indicated that the plane was malfunctioning.
“Whiteman Tower CAP439 – We’ve got a loss of engine power, we’re going to try and stretch it to the runway,” the pilot said. The air traffic controller responded: “10-4 39, Roger. Runway’s clear and you’re clear to land.” The pilot then said: “Well, hopefully, we’ll make it.”
A Civil Air Patrol volunteer at Whiteman Airport who asked that his name not be published confirmed that the plane is owned by that organization and that the pilot was a member. The aircraft was en route to Pacoima from Bakersfield, the volunteer said.