FAA gives new details in La Mesa plane crash near church

FAA gives new details in La Mesa plane crash
Posted at 6:07 PM, Jul 10, 2023
and last updated 2023-07-10 21:07:46-04

LA MESA, Calif. (KGTV) — ABC10News reporter Perla Shaheen walked down the hillside with some La Mesa residents to get a better look. They live on top of the hill where the plane crashed.

“I look up and I see a plane coming right over the top, over the roof of the church and it’s coming right for my yard,” said Kirk Songcuya, an eyewitness.

RELATED: 2 men injured in small plane crash nearby church in La Mesa

This is the plane Songcuya saw flying toward him. In a split second, a beautiful summer day turned ugly.

“I’m trying to run into the house as fast as I can, telling everybody to get in,” Songcuya said.

Heartland Fire confirmed that the airplane crashed in the parking lot of Lake Murray Community Church. It then went through a chain link fence and down the nearby hill.

“I ran into the house I called my wife I said call the police call 9-1-1 she said what happened what was that loud sound? I said a plane just dropped out of the sky,” Songcuya said.

The FAA’s preliminary report shows the plane flew out of Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport at 2:59 p.m. on Sunday. It crashed six minutes later. The report states that the aircraft had engine issues.

“These people did have the responsibility of ending up in here where no one was hurt, nobody’s property was damaged except that fence,” said Moiron Lang, La Mesa resident.

According to Heartland Fire, the two individuals involved were middle-aged men in their 50s. While one of them was able to walk to the ambulance on their own, the other required transportation on a stretcher. Fortunately, both men are currently receiving treatment and recovering at a nearby medical facility.

“Why these people take an unnecessary risk in these small planes is beyond me," Lang said. "But they took it and lost their plane and almost lost their lives.”

10News confirmed a man named John Brasil living in Lemon Grove is the owner of the plane, but we don't know if he was the pilot at the time of the crash. The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the incident.