Families out celebrating the Fourth of July on a crowded Carlsbad beach watched in horror as a small plane crash-landed on the beach, hitting a 12-year-old boy in the process.
— San Diego 6 – XETV (@SanDiego6) July 5, 2015
The single-engine Piper PA18 lost power before flipping and crash-landing at the water’s edge near a jetty in Carlsbad, Calif. about 3 p.m. Saturday afternoon, authorities said.
Witness Darrel Hicks said beachgoers screamed as the plane tumbled out of the sky towards them.
“People were yelling for people get out of the way, ‘get out of the water’,” Mr Hicks told CBS.
“As soon as he hit the ground his tail flipped over, I could see a couple kids duck over.”
Officials say the boy, 12, was clipped by the plane and suffered a gash to his head. He was taken to the hospital for treatment however his condition is unknown.
The 23-year-old pilot, the only person on board, was not injured in the incident.
NBC reported he had 700 hours of training and that the small plane had just been serviced.
Thomas Morrison said he was standing on the jetty when he saw the aircraft slow down over the water.
“It was towing a Geico commercial ad behind it and I noticed the plane was going slow I took out my camera and the engine stopped,” Mr Morrison told CBS.
“At one moment he looked like he was going to land in the water then he banked over in the sand again that’s when you see in the footage he tried to do a little bit of both and landed it.”
The Federal Aviation Administration and Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.
The plane’s owner said the aircraft is 15-years-old and has not had any problems prior to this incident.