With the number of aircraft in use in the United States at any given time, it might seem like a minor miracle that there are not more serious aviation accidents. However, because of the overall safety of the domestic aviation system, accidents are fortunately relatively rare events. When they do occur, there is always the possibility of large amounts of damage and casualties -- particularly when the crash takes place in a crowded metropolitan area.
Because of its site in densely populated Southern California, a small plane crash this week in Santa Monica could have been much worse than it was -- and it was bad enough that two people on board the plane were killed. The Santa Monica Airport is located in what is now a residential area. When the airport was built in the early 20th century, the area was mostly farmland. However, since then, homes have filled in around the airport, creating a hazard whenever a plane takes off or lands there.
The crash on Sunday night was not out of the ordinary at first: the plane, a Cessna 525A, reported no issues or problems en route to the airport or before touching down. However, shortly after landing, the plane collided with a hangar at the airport, bursting into flames. The two people on board -- a father and son -- died as a result, and the hangar collapsed, destroying at least one other plane inside, which was unoccupied at the time.
Fortunately, nobody on the ground was hurt. However, people who are hurt in aviation accidents, whether they are on board the plane or are on the ground, may wish to consult with an attorney experienced in dealing with aviation accidents.
Source: KABC-TV, "Santa Monica plane crash: Victims believed to be CEO, son," Amy Powell, Rob Hayes, Sid Garcia and Darsha Philips, Sept. 30, 2013