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Update on crash that killed the pilot and two persons off Catalina.

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Recall I wrote about a February crash causing the death of a couple and the pilot off of Catalina Island airport in a small airplane. The final report of the NTSB is not done, but the preliminary report concluded that the plane took off and climbed to 2400 feet then made two turns losing 600 feet in altitude in 6 seconds per radar. It was gusty at 19 knots to 27 knots and the airport altitude is 1604 feet. A decent to 1800 feet put them within 200 feet of the ground by radar, and then they crashed. It is still unexplained why the pilot crashed the plane, and the NTSB usually completes their investigations within 6 months of the crash.

Interestingly, 116 crashes or incidents have been investigated in California in the last 7 months and 41 people killed according to the reports of the NTSB. It seems that small plane flight in California can be quite dangerous. Of the investigations that have been completed since January, 24 competed investigations, 4 have been blamed on unusual wind conditions, 18 incidents were caused by pilot error and 2 caused by mechanical failure. A significant number of pilot errors were attributed to non-production aircraft or student fliers.

We will see how the remaining ninety two investigations unfold. James Ballidis is an attorney specializing in California personal injury and accident claims with the firm of Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie.

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