While children celebrated at a back to school picnic blocks away, a small plane crashed into a tree in Westwood late Friday afternoon.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the pilot, the lone occupent of the plane, was killed. No other injuries were reported.
A witness at the scene said she was riding her bike along Westwood Blvd. when she noticed a plane flying very low, almost at powerline level. She said it looked like it was trying to land when it crashed into a tree on the corner of Mississippi and Glendon Avenues.
Westwood Charter Elementary School was celebrating its back to school picnic when the crash occurred. The school was evacuated as ash flew through the air. A plume of smoke could be seen blocks away.
The LA Times said “The pilot of a single-engine Cessna 210 “declared an emergency for unknown reasons around 6:10 p.m. shortly after departing from Santa Monica Airport,” said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor, who added that the information was preliminary and subject to change.
The plane is registered to a Santa Monica resident, whose identity was not released.”
Update 8/12/2012 - The Los Angeles Daily News reported today that the pilot was Sean M. McMillan of Westchester. He was an experienced pilot in his 70s and had just taken off from Santa Monica airport shortly after 6 p.m. Friday evening when he radioed that he was returning to the airport because of an emergency.
Yvonne Condes is the Editor and co-Founder of MomsLA, a Community of the Top Mom Bloggers in Los Angeles.