2 critically injured in plane crash

February 8, 2011

Two men from San Luis Obispo County were critically injured when their twin-engine plane crashed near the San Bernardino Airport on Monday. [LATimes]

The victims, Lonny Rollins, 39, of San Luis Obispo and Greg Fitzgerald, 61, of Paso Robles were transported to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The men are reported to be in critical condition after undergoing surgery on Monday afternoon.

The pilot had reported problems with the Beechcraft Baron’s landing gear at about 11:45 a.m. and flew past the control tower so that airport personnel could check to see it the landing gear was down. It appeared down and controllers cleared him to land.

The plane crashed as it circled and approached for a landing.

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Hope both involved have a full and speedy recovery.

It will be interesting to hear the details behind this crash.

From the outside, it sounds like the pilot failed to “fly the airplane” and was distracted by the situation at hand. Airplanes don’t crash because the gear won’t cycle or doors and hatches come open. It’s the distraction that must be overcome when flying low and slow.