A single-engine, four-seat passenger airplane crashed into a San Diego Costco parking lot on Wednesday evening, resulting in the death of one of the two women on board the aircraft.
The pilot, 52, was reportedly attempting to land the the plane at the nearby municipal Montgomery Field airport but lost control around 5:30 pm, and landed instead in the Costco parking lot. The pilot was seriously injured. She reportedly did all she could to ensure she avoided civilians while crash-landing the plane, according to local Fox 5 news in San Diego.
Both women were conscious at the scene, but the passenger, a 78-year-old woman, reportedly died at Sharp Memorial Hospital.
Helicopter Pilot Vince Carter, who was flying parallel to the Mooney M-20L plane told Fox he had received a call from the pilot stating that she had lost power. “A few seconds later she made a call that she as going down.” Carter praised the pilot for her attempt to land the plane as safely as possible. “She could have easily landed and skidded into cars.”
An employee who works near the site of crash said he looked up and thought “Oh, this is not gonna be pretty.” He noted that the plane had missed the building where he worked by a mere 15 to 20 feet.
Besides the pilot, two other people were injured while attempting to help rescue the women from the plane, Fox noted. A fire had erupted on the plane as a result of the crash.
The FAA and NTSB are reportedly investigating the crash.
A man named Nick who has been flying airplanes out of Montgomery Field for years also praised the pilot for doing all she could to save lives and property. “There’s not alot of places to set an airplane down,” he told Fox.
“Airplanes can be replaced, but people can’t be,” Nick said.