Video captures dramatic plane crash on beach in Carlsbad

A small plane crash landed Saturday afternoon on a crowded beach in Carlsbad, and one person was injured, officials said.

The pilot was the only person aboard the single-engine Piper, officials said. The plane, from the Air Ads firm in El Cajon, was towing a commercial banner when it apparently lost power shortly after 3 p.m.

Beach-goers scattered when the plane began descending, but at least two people caught the dramatic crash on video.

The pilot was not injured in the incident, which occurred on the beach near the Encina power plant.


Witnesses said the plane was flying north then circled to the south, lost power and crashed onto the beach at the surfline and flipped over. Youthful beach-goers screamed and scurried out of the way.

A 12-year-old boy on the beach suffered a gash on his head after being hit by a wing. He was transported to Rady Children’s Hospital after receiving aid from beach-goers and paramedics, officials said.

The 23-year-old pilot left with a blanket around his shoulders.

The light plane was put upright within minutes as officials made plans to have it towed from the beach. A hazardous materials team responded to look for any gasoline or other items that could be dangerous to beach-goers.

Beach-goer Dean Nesbitt told KUSI-TV that the plane seemed to glide silently onto the beach before hitting the surf and flipping over. The crash was “nothing real violent,” he said.

Planes towing banners regularly fly over the northern San Diego County beaches, particularly on busy weekends. Skywriting planes leaving commercial messages in the sky are also common.




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