San Diego

Plane Wreckage Removed From Oceanside Hilltop by Helicopter

Days after a plane crashed in Oceanside, killing one man and seriously injuring another, the plane has been removed from a hilltop.

Traffic along eastbound State Route 76 was stopped for approximately 20 minutes Thursday while the crew of a salvage helicopter lifted the wreckage off the hillside piece by piece. 

Oceanside resident Brooks Ray captured video of the removal on his phone and shared it with NBC 7. 

Raymond Allen Petty, Jr., 58, of Yorba Linda, was inside the single-engine Piper Cherokee Warrior -- a plane with dual controls designed for flight training -- when the aircraft took off from Oceanside Municipal Airport just before 9 p.m. Monday. 

However, it wasn't until Tuesday morning at around 7:14 a.m. that someone passing through the area noticed the wreckage on the hillside and contacted Oceanside police.

The plane crashed into a hillside less than a mile away from the airport, approximately 10 to 20 feet from the top of a ridge.

Investigators with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are looking into what may have caused the crash. The airport manager told NBC 7 Wednesday that thick fog created less than a mile of visibility at the time the plane departed. 

NBC 7's Melissa Adan spoke with first responders who rescued a passenger from Tuesday's plane crash in Oceanside.

When firefighters and emergency personnel made their way to the site of the crash, they found Petty dead and another man suffering from major injuries including broken bones and cuts to his face.

The survivor told rescue crews the plane crashed over five hours before they were found, but the FAA confirmed he was trapped in the wreck for much longer.

He was taken to Scripps La Jolla Hospital by Mercy Air.

Contact Us