Small plane crashes into the water off Huntington Beach

Officials inspect the damage from a plane that crashed into the water in Huntington Beach Friday.
(Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

A small plane crashed into the water in Huntington Beach Friday afternoon just a few feet past the surf in front of beachgoers.

Video of the incident posted online shows the plane at about 1:30 p.m. pulling a banner behind it and then quickly descending until it splashes into the water a few yards from the sand.

The crash occurred just south of Beach Boulevard, Jennifer Carey, a spokesperson for Huntington Beach, said.


According to the California Surf Lifesaving Assn., the plane went down in the area of a junior lifeguard competition, which was on a break, and several of the participants helped rescue the pilot.

Only the pilot was onboard when the plane crashed, the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. The plane was a small, single-engine Piper Cub.

The condition of the pilot was not immediately known, but video from the scene showed him wearing a neck brace while sitting upright in the back of a lifeguard truck and being evaluated. Carey said no serious injuries have been reported.

The investigation is being overseen by the California Department of Parks and Recreation because the crash occurred in its jurisdiction, Carey said.

Huntington Beach police and fire personnel were on scene and closed off the area near the crash site, she said. The rest of the beach, however, remains open to the public.