An aircraft that had a hard landing in Santa Paula earlier this month encountered problems when the “airplane stopped climbing” at about 250 feet, according to report by the National Transportation Safety Board. 

The Boeing A75N1 biplane was “substantially damaged’ when it landed in the Santa Clara River bottom just before 2 p.m. Sept. 4 when the aircraft flipped over during touchdown when it came into contact with thick brush, states the report, which was released Tuesday. 

Crews with the Santa Paula Fire Department were among the rescuers to respond to the crash. They reported that the male pilot and female passenger were uninjured in the accident. 

The registered pilot of the plane said the accident occurred on his third consecutive flight from the Santa Paula Airport that day. No flight plan was filed for the local flight, which was expected to return to the same airport, according to the report. 

There were no issues reported in the plane’s “uneventful” takeoff. 

“However, the airplane’s climb performance was reduced after the airplane transitioned to its initial climb,” the report states. The pilot was able to turn the aircraft and land in the dry river bottom near the Mountain View Golf Course. 

A witness to the incident saw the plane make a “left turn about 1/8 of a nautical mile from the departure end of runway 22.” The witness saw the propeller spinning throughout the plane’s descent but could not hear the engine, according to the report. 

A Ventura County sheriff’s helicopter was sent to the scene soon after the accident was reported to help direct fire crews to the area. 

The pilot and the passenger were walked out of the area by rescuers. 

NTSB officials did not travel to the scene of the accident to investigate but the wreckage was kept for further investigation. 

 

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