SAN PEDRO (CBSLA.com) — A search is underway for three people missing after a two planes collided off the Port of Los Angeles Friday afternoon, according to the U. S. Coast Guard and Federal Aviation Administration.
LAX’s radar shows what appears to be a blue and a yellow aircraft slamming into each other at 3,100 feet and then vanishing from radar.
An L.A. County official said the crew of a fishing boat reported seeing a small aircraft plunging into the ocean about 3:15 p.m.
Rescuers raced to the scene to find a small debris field scattered a mile off shore near the Point Fermin Lighthouse, the Los Angeles Fire Department said.
The wreckage recovered included a log book from one plane, which revealed two men were on board the Beechcraft. Investigators also learned that there was an overdue aerobatic aircraft from Torrance Airport with one woman on board.
That plane’s partial tail number was on an FAA radar around the time the fishermen reported seeing the Beechcraft hit the waters, according to the Coast Guard.
“It’s normal procedure for the Coast Guard to evaluate sea temperatures, the survivability in the water and whether or not we can find the survivors,” said Capt. Jennifer Williams of the U.S. Coast Guard. “So we don’t have to give up until we really feel that there’s no chance, that we haven’t scanned the area, searched the whole area and look for survivors. We don’t want to give on any body that is potentially out there.”
The two men are 61 and 81 years old. The woman is 72 years old, according to the Coast Guard.