Crash Interrupted Dinner Plans

Two of the three men injured in a plane crash in Oceanside Saturday are still hospitalized Monday morning, recovering from serious to critical injuries.

Meanwhile, federal investigators are moving the wreckage of the Cessna 172 to Los Angeles to find out what caused the small plane to crash near a helicopter pad by Las Pulgas Road shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday.

The plane was traveling from John Wayne Airport in Orange County to Montgomery Field when trouble started.

The pilot, 48-year old Costa Mesa resident Allan Jacobson, and two friends were headed to a favorite dinner place in Mexico, according to friends of Jacobson. 

Those passengers have been identified as David Menne, 50, of Oregon and Scott Jones, 49, of Lake Forest, in an article in the OC Register. The paper reported that Menne was sitting in the front passenger seat and appears to have suffered the greatest injuries. He is being treated at Mission Hospital in Mission Viejo. Jones, who was reportedly sitting in the rear, was scheduled to be released from the hospital Sunday night, according to the Associated Press.

Jeff Smith was driving southbound on Interstate 5 and noticed the wing on its side and ran over to help the men trapped inside.   Smith, a pilot since 1996, said the plane was destroyed. “I just asked if they were alive, that was my first concern.”

Smith said the pilot had a broken wrist and was cut in several places.   Jacobson said his engine went out suddenly and that when he attempted a short field landing, overshot, and crashed, according to Smith.

“Given the terrain and what he had to deal with right there, I think the guy did a pretty good job,” Smith said.

Jacobson was taken to Scripps Memorial Hospital in La Jolla and was listed in serious condition, hospital officials said.  He is a well-known faux painter and contractor in Costa Mesa, according to the OC Register.

Drivers on Interstate 5, along with several Marines, rushed to the rescue of the three men after their plane crashed just yards from the freeway.  About a dozen witnesses stopped to help, many of them Marines.

Witnesses said it's a miracle no one in the plane or on the ground was killed.

According to friends, Jacobson flew regularly. "He flew just about every other weekend for a couple of years now," friend Joan Pangle told the OC Register. " He flew for a long time before buying his own plane."

On Sunday the National Transportation Safety Board was moving the plane's wreckage from the crash site to a facility in Pearblossom, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

A preliminary report on what may have caused the crash could be released as early as the end of the week, according to Gregor.

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