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1 Dead, 2 Rescued After Plane Crashes Offshore in Palo Alto


One person died and two people were rescued Tuesday morning after a small aircraft crashed near the Palo Alto Airport, according to the Palo Alto Fire Department.

There were three people aboard the plane, which crashed about 40 feet offshore, officials said. Two female victims, a mother and her teenage daughter, were rescued and transported to Stanford Medical Center. The 60-year-old male pilot who was stuck inside the aircraft died, fire officials said.

The extent of the injuries were unknown, but officials said both passengers made it out to the wing of the plane beforre they were rescued. 

The mother and daughter were identified as 49-year-old Nancy Dellamaria and 16-year-old Chloe King, both of Redding. Dellamaria’s husband said she and his stepdaughter were recovering in stable condition late Tuesday night.

Dellamaria suffered a fractured spine and ribs, and Chloe was being treated for unknown injuries, according to Dellamaria’s husband.  

The single-engine Mooney M20 tried to land at Palo Alto Airport around 11:10 a.m., but the circumstances of the crash were still unknown and under investigation, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

“The pilot was executing a go-around when the accident occurred. The plane came to rest in a pond about a quarter-mile off the departure end of Runway 13,” the FAA said. The incident is being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The pilot was flying an Angel Flight, an organization of pilots who volunteer their time and money to take patients in need to the hospital for treatment. Chloe was being flown in from Redding for a scheduled surgery at Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital at Stanford.

Pilots in the area heard the radio transmissions before the crash and were saddened with the end result.

“It’s a tragic thing,” flight instructor Steven Philipson said. “A guy was doing a good deed and doing it at his own expense, and he paid the ultimate price. That’s very painful.”

The aircraft is owned by Spencer W. John, according to the FAA’s registry.

The Palo Alto airport is a general aviation field, owned and operated by the city. It’s the 10th busiest single runway airport in California, according to the city’s website.

The pilot had not yet been identified by the medical examiner.

The NTSB said it will pull the aircraft out of the water Wednesday, and a preliminary report is expected in five to 10 days. 

NBC Bay Area’s Ian Cull contributed to this report.

Photo Credit: Palo Alto FD
Source: NBC Bay Area

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