Plane crashes into home in San Diego, killing 2 passengers

An investigator standing next to the tail section looks at the charred remains of a small plane that crashed into a house in San Diego.
(Hayne Palmour IV / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A single-engine plane with four people crashed into a Clairemont neighborhood home Saturday, killing two passengers and causing the house to go up in flames, authorities said.

The accident occurred about 4:35 p.m., when the Beech B36 Bonanza crashed in the baseball field of Lafayette Elementary School and skidded into the back of a home on Chandler Drive.

Neighbors said a family with an infant is renting the house. They were not home at the time. Their small dog died, neighbors said.


The six-seat plane took off from Montgomery Field, a half-mile away, about 4:30 p.m. and shortly after the pilot radioed an engine failure, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Chief Brian Fennessy. The pilot reported an attempt would be made to land back at the airport.

It appeared the pilot tried to land the plane in the open space of the schoolyard and adjacent park before crashing, the chief said.

The pilot and a passenger were taken to a hospital with burn injuries, and two passengers died at the scene. Their names were not released.

Information on who owns the plane was also not available. The tail number burned up in the fire, Fennessy said.

The home suffered extensive damage, the chief said.

Wade Treadwell, who lives on the street, said he was playing in nearby Olive Grove Community Park with his grandchildren when he heard a plane’s engine sputter.

The plane turned, “like it was trying to get wind underneath its wings,” and crashed into the back of the house, he said.


Neighbors tried to get into the house, but said the doors were locked. They broke windows and began putting water on the flames from a garden hose until firefighters arrived.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation and Safety Board will be investigating the crash, officials said.

Davis writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune