Federal investigators are looking for answers in an airplane crash that destroyed a San Diego-area home Saturday evening, killing two passengers and a dog on the ground.
According to NBC 7 San Diego, a single-engine Beechcraft charter plane operated by Altitude Aviation of Hermosa Beach crashed into the back of a Clairemont, California home around 4:30 p.m. Dec. 9. The explosion the airplane crash created and ensuing fire destroyed the home and everything inside.
Four people including the pilot were aboard the charter plane. The airplane crash killed two of the passengers. The pilot and another passenger survived with injuries. According to Fox 5 San Diego, Dawn and Robert Stelling, a couple from South Hampton, New York, were aboard the plane. Mr. Stelling and another passenger were killed and Dawn was injured.
The San Diego Fire-Rescue Department said the plane’s pilot reported a catastrophic engine failure shortly after taking off from Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport just east of Clairemont, according to News 8 San Diego. The plane first landed in a baseball field at the Lafayette Elementary School and slid into the rear of the home.
Max Massimiliano told San Diego’ 10 News that it was a miracle he and his family weren’t at home at the time of the airplane crash. Mr. Massimiliano had just left the house minutes before. His wife and daughter had left for New York earlier that day.
Mr. Massimiliano said that the family is heartbroken over the loss of their dog Mr. Biggie, who perished when the airplane crashed into their home. Biggie had been a part of the family or 16 years, he said.
The house and all the family’s belongings are a “total loss,” Mr. Massimiliano told 10 News. When firefighters arrived at the scene, the home was engulfed in flames. Rescuers found the two survivors of the airplane crash walking around when they arrived at the scene. Both survivors had burns and other injuries.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) are investigating the airplane crash. Such investigations typically take six months to a year before a final report is issued.
Two other neighboring residents are asking for help in locating their dog Charlee, who was being walked when a loud noise made by the crash scared her and she became separated from her owners. Fox 5 reported the Charlee was hit by a car and ran off limping.