Preliminary Report into Plane Crash in El Cajon Area Neighborhood


The National Transportation Safety Board has released the results of its preliminary investigation of the plane crash in an El Cajon area neighborhood.

There seemed to be no bombshells contained within the report, which details the moments leading up the crash on Dec. 27 when the plane came down on the roadway of Pepper Drive near North Mollison, 1.4 miles away from Gillespie Field, where it had been scheduled to land. The report confirms that the aircraft had been on an instrument approach before switching to a visual approach for Runway 27R and asked air traffic control to increase the power to the runway light, only to be told that the illumination was already at 100%. The report does say, however, that the the Learjet 35 struck a set of power lines prior to the crash, creating a debris field 186 feet long and 90 feet wide.

Pilots Douglas James Grande, 45, and Julian Jorge Bugaj, 55, and flight nurses Laurie Gentz and Tina Ward were killed in the crash. The plane was being operated by the Aeromedevac company, which is based in El Cajon and offers air ambulance and air-transport services for critical care patients.

(Photo reporting partner 10 News)


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