Pilot Crashes in Target Parking Lot

She's injured, passenger dies in hospital of severe burns

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 31, 2014 11:28 AM CDT

(Newser) – A 52-year-old female pilot had barely gotten her private plane in the air yesterday near San Diego when she lost power and aborted an attempt to land at a municipal airport, reports KNSD-TV. "Problem now. I’m not getting any altitude here," she said in a distress call. She then clipped the roof of a Target store a mile away, hit a light pole, then crashed in the store’s parking lot, killing an 80-year-old passenger, the AP reports. That she didn’t crash through the roof of a busy store is "a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot. This could have very easily killed a lot of people," says one witness. "She stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have." One of the plane's registered owners, Devon Logan, was aboard the plane.

"All of a sudden, I just see this plane coming in low… As soon as it hit the ground, it just (caught fire)," one witness tells San Diego 6. Several bystanders rushed to the plane to extinguish the flames and save the women. The pilot suffered serious injuries, but is now in stable condition; the passenger was burned severely and died at the hospital. One good Samaritan was injured and taken to the hospital; another was treated on site. The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

An aviation safety inspector looks inside the cockpit of a small airplane after it crashed in a shopping center parking lot Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. One woman was killed and another seriously injured, a fire spokesman said.
An aviation safety inspector looks inside the cockpit of a small airplane after it crashed in a shopping center parking lot Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. One woman was killed and another...   (Hayne Palmour IV)
San Diego police examine the wreckage of a small plane in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. Police said that one woman was killed and one hurt in the crash.
San Diego police examine the wreckage of a small plane in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. Police said that one woman was killed and one hurt in the crash.   (David Brooks)
The wreckage of a small plane sits in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. Police said that one woman was killed and one hurt in the crash.
The wreckage of a small plane sits in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday afternoon, July 30, 2014, in San Diego. Police said that one woman was killed and one hurt in the crash.   (David Brooks)
An aviation safety inspector, center, examine the wreckage of a small plane in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in San Diego.
An aviation safety inspector, center, examine the wreckage of a small plane in the parking lot of shopping center Wednesday, July 30, 2014, in San Diego.   (Hayne Palmour IV)
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