Passenger dead, pilot hospitalized after vintage military plane crashes in Fallbrook Flower Field
One person died and a second was seriously injured when a 1953 T-28B plane crashed in Fallbrook on Saturday July 23.
According to NCFPD spokesman PIO John Choi, the pilot and a passenger were the only two people on board at the time of the crash. The aircraft made a hard landing in the Altman Specialty Plants flower field in the 2500 block of Olive Hill Road.
The passenger, he said, died at the scene and the pilot was airlifted with “serious injuries” to Palomar Hospital after being extracted from the wreckage by NCFPD first responders.
The identities of the two have not been released.
The aircraft registration is N787AS and, according to the FAA registry, is owned by Mach One Air Charters in Chino.
Mach One’s website says they specialize in chartering, selling and managing private aviation.
The plane, a North American T-28 Trojan, is a post-WWII-style single-engine fixed-wing trainer that has been used for decades to train for the Navy and Marine Corps .
Tom Wilson, who is a pilot at Fallbrook Airpark, spoke to Village News. He said the plane, which he recognized as a retired single-engine military aircraft from the 1950s or 1960s, took off from Fallbrook Airpark.
Witnesses said the plane was climbing when the engine quit, causing the plane to crash into the flower fields next to the nursery.
Some of the airpark pilots believed those involved in the crash were not Fallbrook residents and that the plane had originally taken off from Chino airport, which was confirmed by the newspapers flight.
According to flight details on Flightaware.com, the plane took off from Chino Airport at 12:34 p.m. Saturday and landed at Fallbrook Airpark at 12:52 p.m. The crash was later reported at 1:33 p.m. Another person said the pilot landed at Fallbrook Airpark to pick up the passenger.
Lisa Boylan, owner of Fallbrook Flight Academy, said, “Very often people travel to Fallbrook to get picked up by fellow pilots because it’s an easy, uncrowded place to land and depart.”
The FAA and NTSB will investigate the crash and no other injuries have been reported.
No one at the nursery was injured.
Anyone with photos or video of the accident should email [email protected]. To share videos or photos with Village News, please email [email protected].
Thanks to Fallbrook pilot John Tomaszewski who contributed to this story.