No Signs of Tire Damage in Santa Monica Plane Crash, Fire: Report

The twin-engine Cessna crashed into a hangar and burned Sept. 29, killing four on board

By Jonathan Lloyd
|  Thursday, Oct 24, 2013  |  Updated 2:55 PM PDT
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Plane Crash Victim Remembered for Kindness

Four passengers were killed in a plane crash at Santa Monica Airport Sept. 29, 2013.

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After Deadly Crash, Group Wants SaMo Airport Closed

A fiery crash at Santa Monica Airport killed four people, and now residents in the coastal city are calling attention to an expending airport that they think should be turned into a park. Angie Crouch reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 6 p.m. on Oct. 3, 2013.

Plane Crash Victim Remembered for Kindness

Lauren Winkler, 28, was laid to rest at a private service on Friday after being identified as one of the four victims killed in Sunday’s crash of a private jet at Santa Monica Airport. Winkler spent a year as the young leadership director for the “Save a Child’s Heart” charity and will be remembered by loved ones for all the lives she touched. Angie Crouch reports from Santa Monica for NBC4 News at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, 2013.
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There were no signs of landing gear tire damage and nothing unsual about a small plane's approach and landing last month before it veered off a runway, crashed into a hangar and burned at Santa Monica Airport, killing four people aboard, according to a preliminary report released Thursday by federal investigators.

The preliminary findings, subject to change before the final report is issued, reveal little about what caused the fatal Sept. 29 crash. 

"Witnesses reported observing the airplane make a normal approach and landing," according to the National Transportation Safety Board. "The airplane traveled down the right side of the runway, eventually veered off the runway, impacted the 1,000-foot runway distance remaining sign, continued to travel in a right-hand turn, and impacted a hangar structural post with the right wing."

The twin-engine Cessa Citation stopped inside the hanger, the roof of which collapsed on the plane before a fire. There were no reports of plane debris on the runway and the landing gear tires were inflated with no signs of unusual wear, according to the report.

The four people who died in the crash arrived from Hailey, Idaho. They were identified as Lucas Benjamin, 28, of Malibu; Lauren Winkler, 28, of Irvine; Kyla Dupont, 53, of San Diego; and Mark Benjamin, 63, of Malibu.

Luke Benjamin is Mark Benjamin's son. The elder Benjamin is believed to have been at the controls.

Mark Benjamin was CEO of Morely Buildings, the company behind some high-profile buildings in Southern California, including Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles and the Getty Villa Museum.

Winkler worked as a leadership director for the non-profit Save a Child's Heart organization.

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