Looking north-west from the main building, across the primary runway, at the control tower of Santa Monica Airport with a few parked, privately-owned planes in the foreground
Main runway at Santa Monica Airport

A small single-engine aircraft overturned after landing at the Santa Monica Airport on Monday. The pilot was the only person onboard but he was not injured. The Santa Monica Fire Department responded to the scene and said the pilot was able to exit the vehicle on his own. The runway was closed during the initial investigation and the accident is one of several occurring at or related to SMO recently. 

Former Santa Monica Mayor Rex Minter died in December of last year when the small plane he was traveling in crashed into the Santa Monica beach. Minter was a passenger when the plane hit the waterline after a short flight originating at the Santa Monica Airport.

In that case, the pilot requested a return to the airport after takeoff saying his engine was running very rough. The pilot then announced his intention to land on the beach, was warned doing so was at his own risk and then said he didn’t have a choice.

Two other people were killed when a small plane crashed in September of 2022. Flight instructor Christian West and student Jackson Nazario died during an introductory flight lesson.

According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), West provided Nazario with about 45 minutes of basic ground instruction before their flight. The plane then departed at about 3:51 p.m. and flew along the coast until it reached Malibu where it turned around and came back to the airport. 

When the plane returned to land, it briefly touched down before suddenly pitching straight up and then plummeting to the ground killing both men.

The NTSB will also investigate the Monday accident and release a report later in the year.