3 Missing in Plane Crash Off Newport Beach

A small airplane carrying three people crashed into the ocean 13 miles off Newport Beach on Sunday evening, and the fate of the occupants was not immediately known, the Coast Guard said.

The four-seat single-engine Mooney model 20 aircraft, en route from Catalina Island to Brackett Field in La Verne, plunged into the ocean just after 7 p.m.

The pilot signaled on his radio shortly before the crash that his plane was in trouble, said U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer James Bride. Bride said the airplane was being tracked by radar and that the Coast Guard had sent a 41-foot boat, a 110-foot cutter and a helicopter to the scene.

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