A Goleta pilot made an emergency landing Monday evening after his plane's single engine failed mid-takeoff from the Santa Barbara Airport.

Léna Garcia

A Goleta pilot made an emergency landing Monday evening after his plane's single engine failed mid-takeoff from the Santa Barbara Airport.

Pilot Makes Emergency Landing After Engine Failure

Aircraft Glided to Goleta Slough’s Edge; Pilot Walked Away with Minor Injuries

After his single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza lost power Monday evening mid-takeoff from the Santa Barbara Airport, an experienced male pilot from Goleta made an emergency landing near the Goleta Slough basin. Landing 60 feet south of the airport’s westbound Taxiway A and east of Taxiway N, the six-seater aircraft came to rest on land with its nose facing the Santa Ynez Mountains.

The pilot, who prefers to remain anonymous, glided onto a brush-covered area at the edge of the slough at about 5:41 p.m. and walked away from the plane with minor lower-back pain, Airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln told reporters at a Tuesday morning press conference. The pilot was taken to Cottage Hospital. He was the plane’s sole occupant. According to Lincoln, the plane experienced “complete power loss” at 300 feet above the airport’s westbound Runway 25.

Before landing, the pilot made one quick radio call to aircraft controllers, saying he would not make it to the taxiway where they recommended he land, said Lincoln. First on scene was an Airport Patrol officer, who notified the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) at about 6:02 p.m. The airfield closed immediately after the accident, but was reopened at 6:14 p.m. without any flight delays. The Bonanza was secured for the evening, said Lincoln, and by 10:00 a.m. Tuesday city firefighters and workers from Big Red Crane Company had arrived on scene to move the plane from the slough’s habitat restoration area.

He “pretty much nailed the only spot he’d be dry,” said City Airport Planner Andrew Bermond at the press conference. After the pilot’s safety, fuel — none of which has been found as the fuel storage remained intact — was Bermond’s next concern. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the crash, deemed an accident due to the engine failure.

To submit a comment on this article, email or visit our Facebook page. To submit information to a reporter, email

Be succinct, constructive, and relevant to the story. Leaving a comment means you agree to our Discussion Guidelines. We like civilized discourse. We don't like spam, lying, profanity, harassment or personal attacks.

comments powered by Disqus
event calendar sponsored by:

Mandatory Evacuation Called for Fire Zones

Heavy rains expected Tuesday-Thursday; debris flows feared.

Cannabis Farmer Gets over $1 Million Insurance Payout

Thomas Fire ash destroys crop; analysis finds asbestos, lead, arsenic, and magnesium.

Next Debris Flow Could Take Different, Unknown Path

"I've never seen this degree of hazard," says Cal Fire scientist.

Biggest Storm Since 1/9 Approaching Santa Barbara

The storm system brings increased threat of flash floods and debris flows.

Jack Johnson Tours Montecito Disaster Area Ahead of Benefit Concert

Jack and Kim Johnson met with Bucket Brigade leaders to see the destruction firsthand.