Santa Barbara- S County

7 escape injury after plane crash lands at Santa Barbara Airport

Flights canceled throughout afternoon


SANTA BARBARA, Calif. - A plane that took off from the Santa Maria Airport late Sunday night crash-landed at the Santa Barbara Airport about an hour after take off. 

The private C-130 aircraft landed roughly on an airport runway at around 11 p.m. Santa Barbara County Fire officials said there were seven people onboard the plane when it crashed. All seven were uninjured. 

Part of a wing broke off on impact and witnesses said fuel was spilling from the aircraft. The fire caused by the crash was swiftly put out by firefighters with the use of foam.


Plane began day in Hawaii, headed to Phoenix

The plane was en route to Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport, according to the Federal Aviation Agency, which spoke to CBS News.

The plane had taken off from the Hilo International Airport in Hawaii earlier Sunday morning and landed in Santa Maria at around 9 p.m., according to the flight tracking website

Santa Maria Airport general manager Chris Hastert said he saw a C-130 aircraft Sunday night. While he could not confirm it was the same plane, he said that the possibility it was the same plane was "very likely." 

Hastert said C-130 planes do not typically land or take off from the Santa Maria Airport at night, which increases the possibility that the aircraft he saw, was the same as the one that had crashed. 

According to Hastert, aircraft that depart from Hawaii will stop in Santa Maria, because of its proximity to the island. He said the airport is the closest in California for Hawaiian flights.



Flights Canceled

Sunday night's crash forced one commercial flight to divert its route Sunday. United Airlines Flight number 5744 was en route to the Santa Barbara Airport from the Los Angeles International Airport. It was diverted back to LAX and landed safely around 11 p.m.

The following day, all morning flights were canceled from the Santa Barbara Airport. The airport had intended to resume normal flight schedules beginning at noon, but as of 1 p.m. all flights remained canceled or delayed.

By 4:46 p.m., after 19 hours of being closed, the main runway was reopened. Two different runways (Runway 15L and 15R) remained closed due to the removal of the aircraft. A large crane, which will be used to remove the plane, arrived on scene at around 4:30 p.m.



Anyone flying in or out of the Santa Barbara Airport were advised to call their airline for more information.

The Santa Barbara Airport publishes updates on its website.


The Plane

The C-130 Hercules aircraft appears to be owned by a company called International Air Response, and the plane that crashed is typically used for disaster relief. The plane that crashed resembles one used for oil spill responses. 

According to their website, International Air Response is an aircraft company that owns several C-130 airplanes that are then leased to both government and private-sector individual for non-emergency use. The company is based in Mesa, AZ.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Agency will investigate the cause and circumstances of the crash. 

The FAA told CBS News the plane experienced hydraulic problems shortly after departing from the Santa Maria airport for Phoenix.




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