Two Light Planes Collide in Mid-Air Near Watsonville Airport

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August 23, 2022
Edward Smith

Multiple Fatalities Reported in Air Collision Involving Two Light Planes

Multiple fatalities were reported in Watsonville in Santa Cruz County on August 18 after two light planes collided mid-air. The collision occurred shortly before 3:00 p.m. as both planes were making their final approach to land at the Watsonville Municipal Airport.

One of the planes was reported to be a Cessna 152 with one person on board, which is a single-engine aircraft, according to a spokesperson for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The other was a Cessna 340, which is a twin-engine plane that was transporting two people. 

Officials have recently identified the decedents as Stuart Camenson, 32, of Santa Cruz, Nannette Plett-Kruppa, 67, of Winton, and Carl Kruppa, 75, of Winton.

Crash Involving Light Planes Being Investigated to Determine Cause

No one on the ground was injured in the double crash. The accident will be investigated by the FAA and also the National Transportation Safety Board, which is standard procedure, to determine the cause of the mid-air collision. 

The Most Common Causes of Crashes Involving Light Planes

The causes of small plane crashes are numerous. There are a number of potential causes, including the following: 

  • Confusing directions given by the tower can lead to light planes crashing.
  • Pilot error is a major cause of an accident involving a light aircraft.
  • A medical issue with the pilot such as diabetes or a heart attack can lead to a plane crash.
  • The pilot may not have sufficient training to safely handle the airplane.
  • A defective component in the plane malfunctions, which causes the pilot to lose control. The plane manufacturer may be held liable in these cases. However, retaining the plane so it can be examined for defects is important.
  • When maintenance is inadequate or poor, a fatal accident can occur. There is a possibility that the mechanic tasked with performing maintenance was at fault and can be held liable.
  • Engine failure occurs on some aircraft that can lead to light plane crashes. The single-engine of many light planes makes crashes more likely. Lack of fuel and iced carburetors are the most common causes of engine failures.
  • The weather can play a role in causing an uncontrollable plane crash such as wind shear, fog, snow or rain. 

Airplane Crash Investigations

First responders and local authorities collaborate with FAA and NTSB investigators to find out why an airplane crash happened. The following areas are investigated:

  • The crash site should be videotaped and photographed in order to preserve evidence.
  • In the aftermath of an accident, witnesses are interviewed.
  • Debris fields and angles of impact are plotted for the airplane.
  • Flight records are examined.
  • If the plane has a black box, it is examined for communication with the tower, instrument readings and power settings.
  • Recovering the parts of the plane and reconstructing it can help identify what went wrong.

Sacramento Airplane Accident Lawyer

I am Ed Smith, and I am a Sacramento airplane accident lawyer. Accidents involving light airplanes are often caused by negligence. The compensation you may be entitled to if you have been injured or lost someone you love in an airplane accident may be worth fighting for. While there is a two-year filing deadline, it is advisable to begin as soon as possible since evidence to support your claim can be lost or covered over. 

We can be reached at (916) 921-6400 for free and friendly advice from one of our injury lawyers or toll-free at (800) 404-5400. You can also contact us online to find out about placing a personal injury or wrongful death claim if negligence turns out to be the cause.

Information on how our injury lawyers have worked hard to help others obtain the compensation they deserve can be found below:

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Photo attribution: Image by Susanne Jutzeler, Schweiz, from Pixabay 

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