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Monday, November 19 , 2018, 2:17 am | Fair 48º


Private Plane Flips at Santa Maria Public Airport; 1 Person Injured

The aircraft turned upside down after veering off the runway during a landing

A single-engine airplane at the Santa Maria Public Airport flipped upside down upon landing Friday afternoon, leaving one person with minor injuries.

The aircraft apparently veered off the edge of the runway into the grassy area about 1 p.m., according to airport General Manager Chris Hastert.

“As it hit the grassy area it flipped over its nose and onto the back of the airplane,” he said.

The incident caused minor impact to airport operations, Hastert said. 

The airport remained open while crews investigated the incident and handled the wreckage, with other aircraft using the crosswind runway to land and take off, for approximately an hour after the crash, Hastert said.

The affected air traffic included a regularly scheduled United Express flight. 

The Federal Aviation Administration released the aircraft about an hour after the incident so the craft could be removed, Hastert said.

He said three people were aboard the plane at the time of the crash, with one receiving minor injuries. 

Crews from the Santa Maria fire and police departments responded to the incident.

The experimental, amateur-built aircraft came from a Griffon Aerospace Lionheart kit model and was last declared airworthy in 2006, according to FAA registration information for the airplane with a tail number of N15TE.

The FAA also says the airplane is registered to Charles Ealand of Los Osos.

Noozhawk North County editor Janene Scully can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

A single-engine plane flipped upside down at the Santa Maria Public Airport on Friday afternoon, injuring one of the three passengers. (Janene Scully / Noozhawk photo)

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