​Big Bear Plane Crash: Three Crash Survivors in Forest

Staff Reporter
Nov. 1, 2014

The Big Bear plane crash involved three people who were airlifted with injuries from the wreckage, but some people are saying it was a miracle.

The crash occurred from the small plane as it went down in a rugged forest area near Big Bear Lake. The San Bernardino County Fire Department responded to a report of the downed aircraft early afternoon. The plane was 12 miles west of Big Bear Airport, west of Big Bear Dam, according to the a tweet from the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

The aircraft was found in a forested area off State Route 18 closed to Forest Road 2N15 near Glory Ridge in the San Bernardino National Forest. After the plane was located, paramedics were lowered from a Sheriff’s Department helicopter. Three injured passengers were hoisted out.

Rescuers could be seen treating patients on the ground near the Big Bear plane crash site, then putting them onto stretchers to be hoisted into the helicopter overhead. Above, on Highway 18, the patients were treated on the road. Two of them held hands while first responders worked on a third patient.

The third patient, who appeared to be more severely injured, was then taken via CHP helicopter to Loma Linda University Medical Center. The other two patients were loaded into ambulances, aerial video showed.

The plane’s tail number showed it was fixed-wing single-engine Cessna 172S manufactured in 2000 and registered to a Tustin-based company called Sohail Air Ventures LLC.

NBC 4 Southern California said the crash was a “miracle” after the three passengers survived the Big Bear plane crash. Marc Peebles, a battalion chief with the San Bernardino County Fire Department, told the news agency:

“For them to land in the area they did or crash land in the area they did, I believe it to be a miracle that they survived.”

Allen Kenitzer, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, both the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board were investigating the Big Bear plane crash. Neither agency releases crash victims’ identities, he said. Big Bear City Airport Unicom Operator Bob Dow said the plane’s pilot reported engine trouble and shaking shortly before the emergency landing.

Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are expected to begin surveying the wreckage and interviewing witnesses Friday, The Los Angeles Times reported. The agency investigates all aviation crashes. In a typical NTSB inquiry, a preliminary report that provides an outline of the facts of the crash is released about two weeks after the investigation begins. A conclusive report can take as long as 18 months to complete.

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