LA plane crash

A small plane slammed into a two-story house in Yorba Linda on Sunday, killing five people including the pilot, and creating a chaotic scene as neighbors ran out to discover the home on fire and pieces of the aircraft strewn across their yards.

No telling what brought it down, but here is some information about the Cessna 414:


So on one hand, the Cessna 414 has a history of problematic engines. On the other hand, the Cessna 414 had the lowest fatal accident rate in 1989.

Another issue is that there was an AD for cracked spar cap:

Right now, just from the article, we have no evidence of why the aircraft crashed. I would be interested in reading the NTSB report when it comes out.

Indistinct videos show that catastrophic structural failure occurred before impact, but no indication yet of the cause.


Here is a direct link to the YouTube video. I couldn’t get full screen on the pprune link.

In my non-expert opinion, it looks like the failure of one of the wings. Since fuel is carried in the wings, that would explain the large pre-crash fire. But assuming the crash was caused by a catastrophic structural failure, what caused it?

There’s also a brief glimpse on twitter

Looks like the starboard wing outboard of the engine had separated from the aircraft.

It has been very stormy.


Thanks for that Johnny, I was hoping you would weigh in.

Given the footage posted by Riemann, it looks to me – in my non-expert opinion, and without any evidence but the video – that an engine failure is less likely, and that the aircraft suffered a catastrophic structural failure. Of course, a CSF can be caused by improper response to a failed engine. :wink:

Given the weather, a structural failure could quite plausibly result just from loss of control / attempt to recover control in IMC.

Sure seems like the wing snapped off and the fuel line rupture somehow was ignited. That’s after seeing the videos and noting what Johnny mentioned in post #4 about the fuel tanks being in the wings.

Channing Idaho Banks said it was stormy down there. I haven’t heard how violent they were/are.

PPRuNe doesn’t support full screen video links apparently. You can go direct to YouTube by clicking on the word “YouTube” on the video though (just in case you didn’t know that and had done a separate search.)

Nothing to add on the accident itself. Nasty.

I did a right-click and selected Get video URL. :wink:

It was. And the Cessna 414 has been a favourite twin since I was a kid. (Love the tail.) I’ve never been in one.

Here’s another video, notable mainly for the clear audio of the final few seconds. You hear the crazy whine of a prop as it overspeeds. This a twin, right? I’m not exactly sure what happened, the prop whine abruptly stops - apparently just before impact - I think I saw a photo of a separated prop in a driveway in one of the news reports.

You can see a fireball in the reflection of the wet bricks before anything hit the ground, & it looks like two separate impacts on the ground, which goes along with the ‘it broke up in mid-air’ thought.

I don’t suppose a small plane like this has data recorders?

Wow, that’s rough. Conditions were not good in SoCal Sunday, low ceilings, wind, lots of rain. That prop whine makes me wonder about a loss of control in the clouds followed by a graveyard spiral.

Turns out the pilot was from up around my neck of the woods. Showed pictures of the crash on the news. Weird how the main fuselage was ‘relatively’ intact. I would have suspected nothing would have been recognizable.