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A Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft crashed at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday at South Carlsbad State Beach.
A Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft crashed at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday at South Carlsbad State Beach. Photo by Steve Puterski
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Small plane crashes at Carlsbad beach

CARLSBAD — A small plane with three passengers made an emergency crash landing on Thursday morning at a Carlsbad beach after reporting engine problems. 

According to media reports, a Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft crashed at approximately 7:45 a.m. onto the shoreline below the bluff at the Poinsettia Lane entrance of South Carlsbad State Beach. The Carlsbad Fire Department and paramedics responded to assess the surviving individuals onboard the Piper Cherokee.

No injuries were reported, and none of the passengers were taken to the hospital. According to Flight Aware, the plane’s owner is Christopher J. Sluka of San Diego, but it remains unclear who was onboard the aircraft at the time of the emergency landing. 

Emergency personnel were called to a Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft crashing at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday at South Carlsbad State Beach. According to the City of Carlsbad, all three people on board survived with no injuries. Photos by Steve Puterski
Emergency personnel responded to a Piper PA-28 single-engine aircraft performing an emergency landing at 7:45 a.m. on Thursday at South Carlsbad State Beach. According to the City of Carlsbad, all three people on board survived with no injuries. Photos by Steve Puterski

Shortly after, California State Parks and U.S. Coast Guard officials arrived on the scene to discuss the logistics of removing the plane from the shore. 

Due to the high tide, waves began to crash against the defunct plane, causing damage to both wings, including tearing a portion of the left wing entirely from the plane. 

According to flight tracking data, the plane departed from Montgomery Field in San Diego at approximately 7:31 a.m., heading toward John Wayne Airport in Orange County when the pilot reported engine problems. The aircraft performed an emergency landing at 7:44 a.m. after traveling 24 miles in 13 minutes.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board officials are investigating the incident along with California State Parks.

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