Investigation underway of deadly crash of plane bound from John Wayne Airport to San Diego

Smoke and flames rise in the air after a plane crashed in the unincorporated Bostonia neighborhood
Smoke and flames rise in the air after a plane crashed in the unincorporated Bostonia neighborhood near El Cajon on Monday night.
(Courtesy of Thomas O'Brien)

A small business jet carrying four passengers took off from John Wayne Airport on Monday night, but never made it to its destination. Instead, it crashed in the unincorporated San Diego neighborhood of El Cajon, just a few miles from Gillespie Field Airport.

Federal investigators said the plane was on instrument approach to Runway 17 at the airport when the pilot requested a change to a visual approach to Runway 27R. At 7:14 p.m., shortly after air traffic controllers cleared the plane to make that change, it crashed near the 1200 block of Pepper Drive, 1.4 miles from the approach end of the runway, according to the National Transportation Safety Board.

The jet has been identified by federal authorities as a Learjet 35A business jet. Officials said the jet is equipped with a cockpit voice recorder, but not a flight data recorder.

Investigators from both the NTSB and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to remain on site and a preliminary report on the incident is expected in several weeks.

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department said in a statement Monday night that the crash damaged one home and power lines were knocked out, but no one on the ground was injured from the impact.

Firefighters were unable to identify any survivors among those who had been aboard the aircraft. The crash victims have not been identified by the county medical examiner as of Tuesday afternoon.

Any witnesses of the incident, have any video or information that may be potentially relevant to the investigation are encouraged to contact the National Transportation Safety Board at

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