The pilot who died in a fatal crash in the Angeles National Forest Sunday morning was a member of the Plus One Flyers club at Montgomery Field, the Chief of Operations at Plus One Flyers confirmed.
He said the pilot was experienced and had been with the club for five years. The pilot had logged 20 flying hours just in the last month.
The COO said the pilot’s death is like losing a family member. In fact they'd just flown together last week. Shane Terpstra, the Plus One Flyers Safety Officer agreed.
“Any time you lose a fellow aviator it’s always a difficult time," Terpstra said. “Difficult rather for anything like this where we lose a fellow aviator. It’s a small community.”
The Cessna single-engine plane took off from Montgomery Field Sunday morning just after 7:30 heading for Santa Monica Airport. Air traffic control said they lost contact with the plane 17 miles east of Van Nuys before it went off radar.
“They’re all maintained to a high set of standards,” Terpstra said of the planes. “They’re looked at once a month at least by a mechanic who does oil changes, that kind of thing, so they're looked at very often not only by mechanics but by pilots and members flying.”
The cause of the crash has not been determined yet.
“It’s tough. The best we can do is learn from any aviation crash,” Terpstra said. “There’s always some take away…We just try to learn from it and take it to other members of the club and other pilots.”