Arroyo Grande plane crashes on Catalina

October 3, 2010

Catalina airport

A plane registered to Sabovich and Sons of Arroyo Grande, crashed shortly after takeoff from Catalina Island Sunday afternoon, injuring the pilot and two passengers. []

The 1956 Cessna 310 twin engine light aircraft crashed about one-half mile southeast of the Catalina airport at approximately 3:40 p.m. The three persons on board were injured from the accident and resulting fire, which also caused a three acre brushfire that was quickly extinguished by first responders.

The pilot, a 54 year old man, told sheriff’s officials he was taking two passengers back to mainland California, but the engine failed shortly after takeoff.

All three aboard, including a 50 year old male and a 48 year old female passenger, suffered serious burns and were treated on the scene before being flown to a local hospital, Los Angeles County Fire Department officials said.

The victims’ conditions were unknown, but they are expected to survive.

Sabovich and Sons, located on Huasna Road,  is a company specializing in underground construction.

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I don’t have much of a clue about what Vagabond and wolfhound are discussing here but I’m not flying on one of those, not ever.

I’d jump at the chance to fly in one of theses aircraft! Most if not all of them are prized jewels at this point, pampered hangar queens that are only used for sport. Yes, there is the question of old technology, but remember , all those old designs have had numerous required updates, making them quite possibly the most reliable internal combustion engines in the world, and all of them are required to pass annual inspections and overhaul at specific hours of use.

Imagine the howling if cars had to do that!

Still, stuff breaks, and there isn’t enough information in this article to make any-kind of informed opinion of what happened, it could have been pilot error, we simply do not know, and the likely hood of getting an update with FFA reports in the local media is unthinkable.

The headline is the crash! Who cares what the cause is.

To enlighten you about what we do know about this is that the 1956 Cessna 310 is that it utilized two motors that rotated in the same direction.

The plane in the article may have very well been updated to counter rotating engines, an allowed modification, but very expensive.

In it’s original configuration there is the possibility that at a high incidence ( rapid climb, normal at Catalina ) that single engine failure may cause a lessening of rudder control at near stall speeds.

In effect, making the only best choice a straight ahead level decent.

Sounds to me that the pilot did a great job.

I wonder if CCN will post an update? Nah.

The Cessna twin engine 310 was the plane featured in the 50/60s TV drama “Sky King”.

You’re right Vagabond, it must have been one scary experience and horrific impact with terra-firma.

Cessna put the fuel in wingtip tanks to lessen the fire risk in the event of such a crash which may have saved the lives of the folk on board.

That plane had one fierce growl on takeoff, from the rather boisterous augmented exhaust system. Also, when the engine backfires into the augmenter on takeoff the explosion echos into the cabin like cannon fire. An experience one doesn’t soon forget.

Thankfully, an angel helped the all survive.

There are very few places to put her down safely at either end of that runway.

Wow, that aircraft in a high incidence takeoff mode with one engine failure would be a total bear to handle. I hope they all survive OK.