A witness in an investigation into a plane crash that killed a retired United Airlines pilot in Oceanside last week said, "it sounded like the engines were out of sync," according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). Both engines were found separated from their mounts among the wreckage.
Edward C. Judd, 83, was killed in the crash July 26 near the intersection of state Route 76 and El Camino Real. The pilot was flying alone.
“The airplane's cockpit and cabin had been consumed by a post-crash fire,” according to the NTSB report.
A certificated airline transport pilot and mechanic watched the plane take off from the east end of the runway at Oceanside Municipal Airport, investigators said. The engines sounded like they were out of sync after the plane became airborne, he said.
“The witness stated that as he continued to observe the airplane he noticed that it was yawing and drifting to the right in a wings-level attitude, and that the airplane was not gaining altitude,” according to the NTSB report.
The plane then went out of view, the witness said. It crashed one mile east of the airport.
The right engine was found about 150 feet north of the main wreckage and the left engine was found in front of the left wing’s nacelle, according to the NTSB.
Aerials of the crash site showed a team of firefighters spraying foam on the wreckage with some flames still visible. The ground around the plane was scorched by fire.
The plane was taken to a storage facility for further examination.
Judd’s daughter said her father served 40 years as a United Airlines captain and never wanted to retire.
"This was the way he kept going to work, tending to his Baron," Vicki Roberts said.
Roberts went to the scene of the plane crash on Wednesday.
"I just wanted to be near my dad's aircraft. I just wanted to touch it. I think it was helpful," Roberts said. "I think he did everything he could to protect life in this incident. I'm sure he was trying to save his own too and trying to get his aircraft out unscathed."
She said her dad was 83 going on 45 and loved cycling and volleyball. He was even signed up to play in a volleyball tournament this past weekend.
"My father was an incredible pilot and a very vivacious man," Roberts said.