Small Plane Flips Near Oceanside Airport

The Pitts biplane ended up upside down in a field after the pilot experienced engine failure

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A small airplane flipped upside down in a field Tuesday after an emergency landing near Oceanside Municipal Airport – but its occupants luckily emerged relatively unscathed, officials said.

    The Pitts biplane went down north of State Route 76 near Airport Road just before 11:30 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

    The pilot had taken off from McClellan-Palomar Airport and was planning to return there when he reportedly experienced engine failure, FAA officials said.

    As he tried to divert to Oceanside, the plane flipped upside down, ultimately landing in a field just east of the runway and Foussat Drive.

    Two occupants, pilot Lance Murray and passenger Daniel Harabagiu, were able to free themselves from the plane with only minor scrapes, Oceanside police said.

    There was no fluid spill or fire as a result of the emergency landing, police said.

    The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will continue to investigate the incident and determine the cause of the aircraft malfunction.

    According to registration records, the owner of the plane is listed as San Marcos-based Lance Murray Aviation, LLC.

    This marks the second small airplane crash in San Diego County in just one week.

    A single-engine Mooney M20L crashed in the busy parking lot of a Kearny Mesa shopping center on July 30 after experiencing engine trouble, in a crash one witness said could have cost far more lives but for the pilot's skill.

    The pilot, Devon Logan, 52, survived, while her mother and passenger, Joy Gorian, 78, suffered serious burns and later died at the hospital.

    The crash was witnessed by dozens of San Diegans, many of whom jumped in to try to rescue the women from the wreckage.
     

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