SANTA MONICA—On Thursday, September 8 at 4:25 p.m. the Santa Monica Fire Department responded to an aircraft accident at the Santa Monica Airport.  Captain Patrick Nulty, Public Information Officer for the SMFD indicated in a press release to Canyon News that firefighters encountered a single engine aircraft that crashed in the infield and engulfed in flames.

Aircraft Rescue Firefighters arrived in 1 minute 39 seconds and halted the flames within minutes. The aircraft was inbound to the airport when it touched down, made an abrupt upward maneuver before crashing in the infield. Both people inside the aircraft died during the accident. The names of those victims have not yet been disclosed to the public.

The victims are a flight instructor and student, with Santa Monica Flyers. The aircraft was two-seat, single-engine Piper Sport plane.

“The airplane shortly after or possibly just before touch down, pitched into the air aggressively — nose up, climbed to about a 100 feet…rolled to the ground, where it impacted the ground,” said Eliott Simpson, with the National Transportation Safety Board.

The aircraft was a Piper Sport two-seat single engine aircraft, operated by a local flight school. NTSB is leading the investigation. More details related to the investigation will be made available at

Firefighters were assisted by the Santa Monica Police, Santa Monica Airport Operations, and NTSB. There were no impacts to Santa Monica neighborhoods. Santa Monica Airport remained closed while the investigation continued, and was hoping to reopen on Friday, September 9 after officials completed thier investigation.