Pilot Son, Mother Survive Plane Crash Land in Pomona

A pilot and his mother were thankful to have survived after his small plane made a hard landing Wednesday on a race track at the Fairplex in Pomona.

The emergency landing occurred about 6:40 p.m., according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department.

"The engine just stopped," said Dawn Christensen, who was almost home with her son Derek Christensen from central California.

The plane was a single-engine Beechcraft F33A that experienced engine failure while en route to Cable Airport in Upland from Selma Airport near Fresno, according to Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.

"Then I heard him say, 'I don't think we're going to make it,'" Dawn Christensen said.

Derek Christensen radioed the tower at Brackett Field in La Verne, adjacent to the Pomona fairgrounds.

He put the plane down near the fairgrounds' race track grandstand, Gregor said.

"Instead of being scared, you fall back on your training and you do the best you can," Derek Christensen said.

The pair was not seriously hurt and were expected to come back home safe to Rancho Cucamonga.

"My plane is totaled, but at least I am still alive and my passenger is still alive," he said.

The Los Angeles County Fire Department was at the scene for a fuel leak from the Beechcraft. The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the crash. 

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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