Small plane crashes onto the 405 Freeway in Orange County


A small twin-engine airplane burst into flames as it crash-landed on the 405 Freeway in Santa Ana on Friday as it attempted to land at John Wayne airport.

Two people were on board the twin-engine Cessna 310 when it crashed “under unknown circumstances,” according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the FAA. Their condition was not immediately known.

The plane landed in the southbound lanes of the freeway, just north of MacArthur Boulevard — next to John Wayne Airport — about 9:30 a.m., CHP Officer Latos Quin said.

Images and video from the scene showed the belly of the aircraft slamming into the freeway and the plane bursting into flames as a tower of smoke rose from the scene. The northbound lanes were reopened by 10:15 a.m. and traffic was flowing normally.

The plane crashed short of the airport runway, Gregor said. All arrivals to John Wayne Airport were closed temporarily but have since reopened, airport officials said. Departures were not affected.

A Department of Transportation camera in the area was not working, so the CHP is relying on one about a mile away to survey the damage until officers arrive, Quin said.

“All we see is smoke,” he said.

The plane was registered to Twin Props LLC in Santa Ana, FAA records show.

Drivers stopped behind the crash took to exiting through the nearest onramp, according to CHP logs. The southbound lanes will be closed indefinitely, the logs stated.

Traffic from the northbound 55 freeway to the southbound 405 freeway appeared to be passing the crash in the HOV lane.

“It sounded like a car crash then we heard all these sirens and we just looked out and could see all the smoke,” said Brad Schaeffer, 24, who works about two blocks away from the crash site. “We walked over and saw people rushing over to the planes.”

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