Small Plane Crashes In Orange County, Killing 5

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A twin-engine Cessna made an emergency landing at a shopping center parking lot in Orange County, California on Sunday, killing 5 on board.

At 12:30 p.m. the plane went down as it was headed for an emergency landing at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana. The plane was enroute from Concord to Santa Ana.

No one on the ground was injured but there was extensive damage to an unoccupied car.

Other Notes: 

  • The plane went down 1-1/2 miles from the airport near a Staples parking lot. 
  • Other stores near the center had been evacuated.
  • Information on the nature of the emergency wasn’t immediately available.
  • The plane had been given approval to land at John Wayne after the pilot declared an emergency.
  • A spokesman for the National Transportation Safety said the pilot didn’t declare a flight plan and had decided to fly under visual flight rules, which is common in good weather.
  • The spokesman also said “It looks like it went down pretty abruptly,” and that it had been leaking fuel but it did not ignite.
  • Orange County Fire Capt. Tony Bommarito said “I don’t know anything about what this pilot did or what he was thinking, but it could have been much more tragic,” and that “This was a Sunday afternoon, and we have people shopping, so the fact that we have no injuries on the ground is a miracle in itself.”

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