A plane collided with a fuel tanker on Wednesday, May 24 2017 at Perris Valley Airport in Perris, California which is south of Riverside and east of Los Angeles. Two men were on the plane. One was reported to suffer minor injuries as a result of the crash. The other man walked away from the accident uninjured.
The plane was in the process of landing when the crash occurred. The two men on board were a pilot and a pilot in training. They were returning from a skydiving drop. The airport is closely linked to Skydive Perris; the skydiving company has a landing zone around 50 feet from the airport’s single runway.
Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and Cal Fire/Riverside Country firefighters were called to the scene at 3:55 p.m. local time. The total number of firefighters on the scene by both companies was reported to be 12. In addition, the Riverside County Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and Hazardous Materials Support Unit assisted at the scene.
A public information officer from the fire department, Tawny Cabral, commented on the incident. “The first arriving engine company advised one passenger aircraft was down,” Cabral said. He confirmed that two people were in the plane when the crash occurred, but said that both had already exited the plane by the time officials and emergency personnel arrived at the scene.
Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Captain, Lucas Felman, expressed relief at how the situation turned out. After the plan hit the fuel tanker it spun around and stopped around 100 yards short of a large building with many people in it. “If it (had gone) any further it would have collided into that building, potentially injuring many people,” Felman said.
Paramedics at the scene evaluated the person who was injured. His injuries were reported as minor and no further medical treatment or hospitalization were requested.
Despite damage to the fuel tanker, no fuel spills or spills of any kind were reported by the Riverside County Fire Department’s Hazardous Materials Team and Hazardous Material Support Unit after evaluating the accident.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said they will investigate the incident.
The plane involved in the crash was a Havilland DHC-6, also known as a “Twin Otter.” The plane is a Canadian plane that can hold up to 19 passengers and has twin turboprop engines. Its known for a high rate of climb. The plane model is still in production today; its first flight occurred on May 20, 1965.
According to FAA records, the plane involved in the incident is owned by PM Leasing Inc., who has the same address as Skydive Perris. Who is the plane is leased to is not stated in the records.
According to numerous reports, the plane was in pretty “rough shape” after the crash. Heavy damage to its right wing was reported—almost completely broken off—and other “substantial” damage to the landing gear, nose, and tail section.
The general manager of Sky Dive Perris, Dan Brodsky-Chenfled, showed optimism when commenting on the condition of the plane. “There’s still plenty of good parts on it,” Brodsky-Chendeld said. “We will see when we get it over to the hangar.”