The pilot and passengers of a small sightseeing plane escaped serious injury Sunday afternoon after their aircraft crashed in the slough beyond the runways of Santa Barbara Municipal Airport.
The red Waco model biplane, owned by Santa Barbara Biplane Tours, was forced to make a crash landing in the slough shortly after taking off from the airport. City of Santa Barbara Fire Dept. spokesman John Ahlman said the three occupants of the plane had already exited the wrecked aircraft when emergency personnel arrived on the scene, and two of the passengers — a man and a woman — were transported to Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital with minor cuts and abrasions. As of Sunday evening, the passengers’ identities had not been released.
Ahlman said based on the plane’s condition, the passengers were fortunate to survive the crash.
“The plane is destroyed,” Ahlman said. “We’re lucky to have no fatalities.”
Authorities are currently investigating what caused crash, Ahlman said.
“[It was] possibly taking off, then something happened,” Ahlman said. “We don’t know what happened.”
He said because the plane wreckage is close to the estuaries near the airport, emergency personal are also taking precautions to prevent any environmental damage to the area.
“Crews are trying to secure the area so we don’t have any fuel leaks,” Ahlman said.
The owner of Santa Barbara Biplane Tours could not be reached for comment as of Sunday evening.