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UPDATE: Search teams locate debris from plane crash off the Isla Vista coast, recovery mission underway

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Posted at 9:54 AM, Sep 27, 2020

(UPDATE: 5:10 p.m.) - Crews continue to search for the missing pilot.

In a press release, U.S. Coast Guard officials said Santa Barbara Airport personnel contacted the Coast Guard Sector Los Angeles-Long Beach command center watchstanders just after 7 a.m. stating they lost contact with a Cessna aircraft two miles off the coast of Santa Barbara with one person aboard.

In response, watchstanders launched a Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco Forward Operating Base Point Mugu MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew, the Coast Guard Cutter Blacktip and a Coast Guard Station Channel Islands 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew.

Around 9 a.m., crews located debris and a light oil sheen that smelled consistent with aircraft fuel near the area of the crash.


(UPDATE: 4:30 p.m.) - Preliminary information reports a single occupant female pilot, who was bound for Lake Tahoe.

A spokesperson from the Santa Barbara County Airport said the tower lost contact with the pilot at about 6,000 ft.

Mike Eliason, a spokesperson for the Santa Barbara County Fire Department said it's unclear if there were one or two people on board, but authorities are working to figure that out.

The National Transportation Safety Board will be investigating Sunday's crash.


(UPDATE: 10:30 a.m.) -After an hour and a half search teams located debris approximately two miles off the coast of Isla Vista.

Fire officials say the debris located is consistent with the Cessna 182 aircraft that went missing.

Debris was found in the water approximately 180-125 feet in depth, according to authorities.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office Dive Team, who helped during the Conception dive boat fire in 2019, is on the way to help in the water search.

A Los Angeles County dive team is also assisting.

This is now a recovery mission as it is still unknown how many people were on board the plane.
A search is underway after a single-engine aircraft was seen 'rapidly losing altitude' towards the ocean off the coast of Goleta Beach Park.

Fire officials with Santa Barbara County Fire say the call came in at around 7:09 a.m. Sunday.

A single-engine aircraft was reportedly seen losing altitude 2.5 miles off Santa Barbara Airport and Goleta Beach towards the Pacific Ocean.

Fire officials say no impact was seen so a search continues for any sign of wreckage in the water.

It is unknown at this time how many people were on board the aircraft.

Santa Barbara County Fire is being assisted by harbor patrol and the coast guard.

This is a developing story and will be updated when more information becomes available.