UPDATED: PERRIS: Plane smashes into fuel tanker in Perris Valley Airport crash
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UPDATE: May 24, 10:50 p.m.
PERRIS — Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Cpt. and Public Information Officer Lucas Felman provided additional information about a plane crash that happened earlier today, May 24. The crash happened at the Perris Valley Airport on the 2000 block of Goetz Road in Perris.
“As the plane was landing it came in contact with a fuel truck,” Felman explained in an interview with reporter William Hayes from the scene. “As it did, it ripped off half of the wing and then spun itself around.”
After smashing into the fuel tanker and spinning, the plane came to rest a mere 100 yards from a large building. “If it (had gone) any further it would have collided into that building, potentially injuring many people,” said Felman.
Although the fuel tanker was damaged, no fuel was spilled from it or the airplane, according to the fire captain, who said FAA investigators had already arrived at the scene and assumed the investigation into the cause of the minor-injury accident.
ORIGINAL STORY: BREAKING: PERRIS: Two walk away after Perris Valley Airport plane crash
PERRIS — One person was slightly injured and another walked away unharmed after a plane crashed this afternoon at the Perris Valley Airport. The crash, that ripped one wing completely off the heavily damaged plane, happened Wednesday, May 24. The regional airport is located on the 2000 block of Goetz Road in Perris.
The small, privately owned and operated airport is open to public use and is best known for Skydive Perris, which operates out of the location. The company has a grass parachute landing zone about 50 feet from the airport’s single runway.
Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters and Riverside County sheriff’s deputies were dispatched to the airport at 3:55 p.m., after Riverside County emergency dispatchers received reports of an aircraft down at the location.
Twelve firefighters from two engine companies responded to the air emergency, Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer Tawny Cabral said in an incident report. They were assisted by the Riverside County Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and Hazardous Materials Support Unit as well as the Riverside County Environmental Health Department.
“The first arriving engine company advised one passenger aircraft was down,” said Cabral. Two occupants were in the plane when it crashed and had already exited the plane by the time officials began arriving.
Firefighter/paramedics evaluated and treated one injured victim at the scene, whose injuries were described as minor. Both occupants from the plane declined further medical treatment.
After the crash, the heavily damaged plane could be seen sitting on the runway, with law enforcement, fire and other officials surveying the wreckage.
The plane, a 1976 de Havilland “Twin Otter” DHC-6 was missing most of its right wing and had sustained other substantial damage; including to the landing gear, nose, tail section and left wing.
FAA records indicate the twin-engine, turbo-prop is owned by PM Leasing Inc., which shares an address with Skydive Perris. It was not immediately known who the plane was leased to; however, Skydive Perris was clearly marked on the plane’s fuselage.
FAA and NTSB officials are reportedly headed to the scene of the crash to conduct an investigation into the cause.
The last plane known to have crashed at the airport happened during the 40th anniversary celebration of Skydive Perris Saturday Sept. 3.
In that incident, a Vintage WWII warplane ended up nose down in the dirt after suffering what officials at the time called a “hard landing.” The pilot in that crash walked away uninjured.
This is a breaking story and will be updated as new information becomes available.
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Trevor Montgomery runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News and Anza Valley Outlook and also writes for Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg and breaking his back in an off-duty accident.
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center and Lake Elsinore Station, along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.