A single-engine plane that flew out of Gnoss Field in Novato crashed Sunday afternoon in the San Fernando Valley city of Northridge and the two occupants were hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries, according to the Los Angeles Fire Department.
The plane, a six-seat Cessna 206, was attempting to make an emergency landing on a college athletic field when it crashed and flipped over, coming to rest a few feet from a busy intersection.
The identities of the injured man and woman were not released. Gnoss Field manager Dan Jensen said provided information that shows the plane's owner as Clipper 29 Uniform LLC, based in Klamath Falls, Ore. The plane was built in 1964, records show.
Fire officials received an emergency call from the Van Nuys Airport control tower at 3:09 p.m. reporting a small aircraft down on the campus of California State University Northridge, 2 1/2 miles northwest of the airport.
Aviation authorities said the white-and-yellow plane was traveling from Novato to John Wayne Airport in Orange County when an in-flight emergency was declared over the radio.
Witnesses described the pilot attempting to land on the athletic fields that occupy the northeast section of CSUN's South Campus. The plane quickly traversed the fields before striking a chain link fence and a tree, which sheared the Cessna's left wing and caused the craft to overturn.
There were no injuries on the ground and no campus structures damaged. Thick smoke from the plane quickly dissipated and is believed to have been burning oil on the fuselage.
Bystanders helped the male pilot and female passenger from the wreckage.
"I pulled him out and he had blood dripping all the way down his face," a young man told KTLA Channel 2 News. "I just grabbed him and tried to help him walk to the ground."
Firefighters quickly abated the fire hazard and provide medical care to the pilot and passenger, who were described as in fair condition with non-life threatening injuries. The two were taken by LAFD ambulance to an area hospital.
A fire crew remained on site for more than four hours to assure campus safety, minimize environmental harm and preserve the scene for a coordinated investigation by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.
Click here for a slideshow of shots from the crash site.
— The Los Angeles Fire Department and Brent Ainsworth from Novato Patch contributed to this report.