Santa Paula Times

Two killed Saturday in plane crash into Aliso Canyon area orchard

June 01, 2016
Santa Paula News

As of press time Monday the identity of two people killed Saturday has not been released after a small experimental airplane they were traveling in lost power and reportedly hit utility lines before it crashed into an orchard east of Santa Paula.

The two died May 28 about 3 p.m. when the Ventura County Fire and other first responders were called for a report of a downed aircraft near the 1600 block of Aliso Canyon Road, north of Foothill Road and about halfway between Santa Paula and Ventura.

Firefighters were able to see heavy smoke and flames as they came to the scene where the plane crashed into the orchard, three rows of lemon trees from the roadway.

Preliminary information indicated that a single-engine, home-built VariEze aircraft crashed into the orchard with two people aboard and caught fire on impact.

It was reported that the plane was in distress and the pilot was likely trying to make an emergency landing but the plane apparently got tangled in power lines and then crashed, spreading debris for about 100 yards from the point of impact.

The two occupants of the plane were pronounced dead at the scene.

Ventura County Sheriff Deputies blocked Aliso Canyon Road at Foothill Road, only allowing passage to residents and those that had business in the area.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board also responded to the crash site, as did personnel of the Medical Examiner’s Office and utility work crews. 

Several residents in the immediate area reported they lost electrical power for a time after the crash.

The VariEze is a “canard”-style home-built aircraft that can carry the pilot and a passenger. It is a little more than 14 feet long, weighs 580 pounds empty, can reach a maximum speed of 195 miles per hour and has a range of 850 miles.