Three dead in Cable Airport crash

Remnants of a crash that killed three occupants of a single-engine plane are seen here Sunday morning at Cable Airport. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

by Steven Felschundneff |

A small plane crashed while taking off from Cable Airport Sunday morning, killing the pilot and two passengers.

The plane, a single-engine Beechcraft P35, had just taken off with a full tank of fuel about 6:30 a.m. when it banked left for some reason and crashed into a hangar at the far southwest end of the runway, according to the San Bernardino County Fire Department. Because of the fuel, the fire was intense. The hangar housed up to three helicopters operated by the Ontario Police Department, which apparently suffered minor damage.

Kevin Bunk, who lives near the airport, told KTLA television the sound of the crash woke him up.

“I heard a very loud noise that sounded like a truck hit a building really loud and I thought ‘What is that?’ And then I heard all of the sirens and apparently the building caught fire,” Bunk told KTLA reporter Annie Rose Ramos.

View from above after a fatal single-engine plan crash Sunday at Cable Airport. Courier photo/Peter Weinberger

Bunk said a flight training school operates out of the hangar the plane hit and expressed concern for the safety of the students.

“I have seen a plane crash myself at the airport in Fullerton. It’s life changing. It changes the way you look at flying when you see something like this. It’s tragic.”

Photos of the crash scene show a large gash on the hangar door charred by fire. The plane’s tail section lies upside down in a debris field adjacent to the metal hangar.

As of Thursday morning, the San Bernardino County Coroner’s Office had not yet identified the victims.

“The pilot and two on board passengers were pronounced deceased at the scene,” the coroner’s office wrote in a news release. “An investigation into the positive identification of the decedents is ongoing.”

The runway was closed for the investigation but the popular Maniac-Mikes Café, which is located in the airport’s main building, remained open for business.


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