Minor injuries after military plane crashes at Hemet-Ryan

HEMET — Minor injuries have been reported after a US Air Force plane based out of March Air Reserve Base in Moreno Valley crashed at Hemet-Ryan Airport this afternoon, Thursday,  Sept. 12. Two occupants managed to walk away from today’s crash, which left the plane upside down in a dirt field south of W. Stetson Ave. and east of Warren Rd., according to witnesses and officials.


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City of Hemet Police and Fire Departments, along with AMR and other emergency personnel, were dispatched to the scene of this afternoon’s crash around 3:20 p.m., after receiving multiple reports of a plane that possibly crashed and overturned at the airport, Hemet Police Cpt. Glen Brock told RCNS in response to an email request for information and details about the accident.

Official radio traffic at the time indicated that at about the same time the crash was reported, emergency dispatchers had begun to receive reports about a missing military aircraft and the first officer to arrive at the scene confirmed the plane had military markings on it.

“When officers arrived they discovered a plane down in a dirt field,” the Cpt. explained; saying, “The only damage was to the plane and the occupants sustained minor injuries.”

Officials raced to the scene of today’s crash after it was reported that a US Air Force plane had crashed at Hemet-Ryan Airport. Hemet Valley Incidents photo

Brock and FAA registry records confirmed the plane – a 1965 Cessna 172F single-engine, fixed-wing aircraft, and had US AIR FORCE clearly marked on its sides – is registered to the United States Air Force out of March Air Reserve Base. Sources indicate the type of plane involved in the crash was and still is typically used for training purposes.

After the crash as emergency crews raced to the scene, two men could be seen self-extricating from the overturned aircraft and then removing various items from inside the cockpit. The men appeared OK, but were evaluated at the scene by paramedics and later reported to have suffered unspecified but minor injuries.

It was not immediately known if the plane was being actively used by the Air Force or if it was from the March Field Air Museum, but a check of the museum’s featured planes did not list the small aircraft as one of theirs. Calls to the museum went unanswered.

One person familiar with the crash later reported to RCNS the plane belonged to the Aero Club at March Air Reserve Base, which offers flight training and other services. Their website indicated they do offer the use of at least three Cessna 172’s for training purposes; however, calls to that organization for confirmation also went unanswered.

Witnesses from the scene later reported it appeared the plane had tried landing at the airport but overshot the runway; before going into a dirt field, where the aircraft’s wheels dug into the soft soil causing the plane to flip over. It was not immediately known if the plane had suffered an air emergency or malfunction leading to the rough landing.

“The events surrounding the accident are under investigation,” Brock advised.

As of this report, military, FAA, and NTSB personnel were headed to the scene, but had not yet arrived.

Several streets surrounding the area of the crash have been temporarily shut down as of this report and officials have asked that the public stay away from the scene.

This is an active and ongoing incident that will be updated as new information is available.

Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents video

Sergio Rodriguez/Hemet Valley Incidents video

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Hemet News photos

Hemet Valley Incidents photos

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

Trevor Montgomery, 48, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, (the now defunct) Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta 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, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s 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 29 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.


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