A private C-130 aircraft that developed problems shortly after takeoff crashed late Sunday night while attempting to make an emergency landing at the Santa Barbara Airport.
The crash occurred at about 10:20 p.m. on the airport’s main runway, with the aircraft coming in from the west, according to Santa Barbara fire Battalion Chief Mike de Ponce.
The 4-engine plane caught on fire after hitting the ground, and part of a wing broke off, de Ponce told Noozhawk.
Firefighters doused the plane with foam to knock down the flames.
Seven people were on board the aircraft, which had taken off from the Santa Maria Public Airport, but de Ponce said there were no injuries.
“They all walked away,” he said.
Shortly after the plane became airborne, the crew detected a problem, reportedly with the hydraulic systems, but the aircraft was unable to return to the airfield due to fog, de Ponce said.
The plane came to rest in a grassy area near the two cross runways — 15 Left and 15 Right.
At least one inbound commercial flight — United 5744 from Los Angeles — was rerouted minutes before landing, and headed back to Los Angeles International Airport, according to the FlightAware website.
The Santa Barbara Airport remained shut down on Monday, with flights cancelled at least through 4 p.m., according to Deanna Zachrisson, an airport spokeswoman.
“We’re closed now, and as I understand it, we’re trying to get clearance to open up again before noon,” she said.
She added later that an update was expected by 4 p.m.
Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived Monday to look into the cause of the crash, Zachrisson said.
A company spokeswoman confirmed Monday that the aircraft is an aerial oil-spill dispersant plane owned by International Air Response, which is based in Mesa, Arizona.
The plane had flown from Hilo, Hawaii, on Sunday, arriving at Santa Maria shortly after 9 p.m., according to FlightAware. It reportedly was on its way to Mesa at the time of the crash.
In addition to city firefighters, Santa Barbara County Fire Department crews also responded to the crash.
Check back with Noozhawk for updates to this story.