NTSB Preliminary Report Records Pilot-Air Traffic Control Communications Before Santee Crash – NBC 7 San Diego
A preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) investigating the fatal plane crash at Santee offers a time-stamped communication log between the pilot and air traffic control which, along with the audio of their communication leading to the accident, shows that something was wrong in the cockpit.
The report details the time-stamped round trips between the controller and the pilot, Dr Sugata Das. According to the report, only three minutes and 30 seconds elapsed between the controller clearing Dr. Das to approach the runway and Das’ last response.
About a minute after Das’ final response, his plane landed on Greencastle Street, hit a UPS truck, and caught fire as it slipped into two houses.
The last moments
Read the full report here.
- 12:09:20: The controller orders Das to turn right towards his landing approach path. Das recognized while at an altitude of 3,900 feet.
- 12:09:48: Das asks the controller if he is cleared to continue on the approach path but the controller does not respond.
- 12:10:04: The controller tells Das that he is 4 miles from the PENNY intersection and orders him to descend to 2,800 feet until he is established on the localizer, and clears him the approach path. Das partially reread the clearance, then the controller reiterated the approach clearance. Das acknowledged receipt of the authorization a second time.
- 12:11:19: The controller told Das that it looked like his plane (22G) was drifting of course and asked if he was correcting. Das responded and said “correction, 22G”.
- 12:11:28: Das said [unintelligible], VFR 23, to which the controller told Das that he was not on the correct approach path and canceled the approach clearance. The controller then issued instructions to climb and maintain 3,000 ft, followed by a low altitude alert and declared that the minimum guidance altitude in the area was 2,800 ft. Das acknowledged receipt of the controller’s instructions. At that time, ADS-B data showed the aircraft at an altitude of 2,400 feet.
- 12:12:12: The controller asks Das to go up and hold 3800, to which Das replied â3800 22G. ADS-B data showed the aircraft was at 3,550 feet.
Families on Greencastle Street in Santee, where one stayed this week, are far from the first in San Diego County to see their homes catch fire after a plane crash, NBC 7’s Alexis Rivas reports.
- 12 h 12 min 21 s: the controller asks Das to turn right 90 Â° for the vectors on final, to which the pilot replied â090 22G. “
- 12 h 12 min 54 s: The controller asked Das to turn right at 090 Â° and immediately climb and maintain 4000 ft. Das acknowledges receipt of the controller’s instructions. About three seconds after Das answered, the controller told Das that it looked like he was going down and that he had to make sure he was going up. Das recognized.
- 12:13:35: The controller asks Das for his altitude. Das responds to 2,500 feet. The controller issued a low altitude alert and told Das to accelerate the climb to 5,000 feet.
New drone video shows the utter devastation left on Greencastle Street in Santee, Calif., After a fatal plane crash killed two people and destroyed two homes. NBC 7’s Audra Stafford shares the latest scene news, including details of a vigil scheduled for Thursday night.
- No further communication was received from Das despite several requests from the controller. ADS-B data showed that the aircraft continued in a downward right turn to the last recorded target, located approximately 1,333 feet northwest of the crash site at an altitude of 1,250 feet.
Das’s plane crashed at around 12:15 p.m., three blocks from Santana High School. Das and UPS driver Steve Krueger were killed in the crash. Phil and Maria Morris, who were in their Greencastle Street home when the plane crashed there, suffered second and third degree burns all over their bodies.
The plane was heading for San Diego from Yuma, Arizona. It was scheduled to land at the Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport at Kearny Mesa, according to the flight plan. It is not known if Das was attempting to make an emergency landing at Gillespie Field in Santee, which is only a few miles from where the plane crashed.
Photos: small plane crash in Santee, California
Witnesses from Santee describe the accident
Michael Keeley 43, ran barefoot outside when his house shook. He saw the burning UPS truck and found two neighbors in a burning house calling through an open window.
With thick smoke inside the neighbors’ house and flames licking the roof, Keeley stood on a rock and reached out to grab the woman’s arm and help her out the window. Her forearms were burned and her hair was scorched.
NBC 7 has team coverage of a plane crash in Santee that killed at least two people, including a UPS driver. Here’s what we know, so far.
âShe kept saying, ‘My puppy, my puppy,’ Keeley said.
Pelloth lives across from the retired couple and saw the house and delivery truck engulfed in flames. Ruins of mutilated vehicles lay in the couple’s driveway.
Erik Huppert, 57, rushed to the couple’s home after his house shook. He joined Pelloth in removing planks from the fence to save the husband, who was walking through the yard.
The woman and her husband were burned in their arms but were still able to walk and speak, Pelloth said.
âThe two were definitely in shock, but at least they were alive,â said Huppert, a military contractor.
Learn more about the heroes and witnesses here.
A neighbor’s security camera captured a crashing plane in Santee. The plane crashed east of Santana High School, killing at least two people.
The crash scene in Santee
At least two houses were destroyed by fire, with teams fighting the flames with water cannons and also trying to cool other buildings nearby. Two or three other homes were also damaged, Santee Deputy Fire Chief Matsushita said.
Several charred vehicles were also visible at the crash site.
Matsushita said power was cut to 10 homes in the neighborhood while first responders worked at the scene. Deputies from the San Diego Sheriff’s Department said a temporary evacuation point has been set up by the Cameron Family YMCA at 10123 Riverwalk Dr. in Santee.
Hours after the crash, SkyRanger 7 flying overhead captured devastating scenes, with the two houses reduced to ashes and lumber, fire foam and damp earth surrounding the two structures . The charred wreckage of the Cessna lay shattered behind one of the houses. Dozens of people stood around the dark stage, most of them dressed in bright yellow vests or firefighter outfits.
Officials said Jeremy Street between 2nd Street and Mast Boulevard was closed to traffic; North Magnolia Avenue between 2nd Street and Mast Boulevard was also closed for hours.
Santana High School, part of the Grossmont Union High School District, is a few blocks west of the crash site and just north of Gillespie Field Airport.
Shortly before 12:30 p.m., school officials tweeted that no students were injured in the plane crash and that the campus was secure. About half an hour later, they said the campus had returned to normal status and students were either on their lunch break or released for the day if they were out of classes.
NBC 7 Investigates looked at plane crashes in the Santee area 30 years ago.
The accident near Gillespie is not the first in Santee; Three years ago, two people and a dog were killed when a plane crashed in Santee in February. According to the NTSB, there have been four fatal plane crashes in the East County community, including one in 2018. Six people died in these incidents.
The Associated Press contributed to this story – Ed.