Pilot killed in Central Coast plane crash

August 7, 2015

The pilot of a small plane that reportedly took off in San Luis Obispo died in a crash in a remote area of Santa Barbara County Thursday night.

Authorities have yet to determine the identity of the pilot. Responders were working Friday morning to extricate the pilot from the plane, according to a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s news release.

The news release stated responders discovered the body of the pilot in the aircraft and no survivors. It made no mention of any passengers.

Initial reports cited air traffic control officials as saying the plane departed from San Luis Obispo County Regional Airport en route to San Diego. Authorities have yet to confirm the aircraft’s route.

The plane crashed just north of Jameson Lake and about 30 to 40 miles north of Ojai, according to the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Office. The crash occurred near the Don Victor Trail.

Around 10 p.m. Thursday, the Emergency Communications Center received a “Mayday” report, stating a small aircraft was experiencing engine trouble. It was believed the aircraft had crashed on land in Santa Barbara County or Ventura County or in the ocean.

The U.S. Coast Guard, Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team and Civil Air Patrol received alerts. The search and rescue team worked overnight with the Ventura County Air Unit.

At approximately 4:30 a.m. Friday, the Ventura County Air Unit spotted the wreckage of the plane. The aircraft crashed in an area with rugged terrain, and responders did not gain access to the crash site until approximately 7 a.m.

Authorities will not release the identify of the victim until it is confirmed, and the family has been notified.

The National Transportation Safety Board will conduct an investigation into the cause of the crash and the surrounding circumstances.