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NTSB provides update on small plane crash that killed pilot in La Jolla

Posted at 7:02 PM, Nov 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-11-16 22:02:39-05

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (KGTV) — The National Transportation Safety Board provided an update on Thursday on a small plane crash that killed a pilot in La Jolla.

While an NTSB spokesperson on scene wouldn’t confirm what led up to the pilot’s crash, he said the agency is actively investigating. A preliminary report will be released in 14 days and a final report in 18 months.

On Thursday evening, crews removed the plane from the hillside where it crashed in a neighborhood off of Gilman Drive.

Flight tracking data shows the single-engine Cessna P210 took off from Concord around 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday en route to Murrieta.

Around 9:30 p.m., the pilot radioed that he was running out of gas and in search of a place to land safely.

Emergency crews had tried to divert the plane to Montgomery Field in Kearny Mesa. Flight tracking data shows the plane took a sharp turn towards La Jolla.

ABC 10News spoke with Joe Graham, a retired airline captain with more than 50 years of flight experience, who was at his La Jolla home at the time of the crash.

“From where I was sitting at home last night there was a lot of cloud cover,” he said.

Graham says per federal air regulations, the pilot should have had more than enough gas for the intended trip.

“It doesn’t have to be filled, you have to have enough for the flight, then you have to have enough to go to your destination, then fly to your alternate destination, then 45 minutes more,” he said.

As for the Cessna P210: “It’s the top of the food chain of single-engine airplanes so he should have been able to do it. But it burns a lot of gas,” he said.

Stay with ABC 10News for updates on this developing story.