San Diego, CA, United States (4E) – A small plane lost power and crashed in the parking lot of a San Diego shopping center killing a passenger and injuring the pilot on Wednesday evening.
The wreck of the fixed wing single-engine Mooney M20L is in the parking lot between Target and the Costco Business Center off Convoy Street in Kearny Mesa. The pilot, a 52-year-old woman, and the passenger, a 78-year-old woman, were taken to the Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of major injuries. The latter, however, succumbed to serious burns.
The crash happened at 5:30 p.m. after the pilot made a distress call to the nearby Montgomery Field radio tower.
The tower quoted the pilot as saying, “I’m not getting any altitude here.”
A witness on the ground saw the falling plane missed a building as it turned and hit a light pole in the parking lot before it crashed.
The plane caught fire and two bystanders pulled out the women from the plane causing them minor injuries. Firefighters put out the fire in a few minutes.
The pilot of a helicopter taking off from the Montgomery Field at the time of the lauded the pilot for her skill in landing the troubled plane in the safest spot in a populated area leading to less casualty and damage.
The helicopter pilot, Vince Carter, told NBC 7 the pilot stalled the plane out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have.