California family miraculously survive plane crash after deploying parachute

While the plane’s occupants emerged from the crash relatively unscathed, the plane was found badly damaged

Martha McHardy
Friday 15 March 2024 17:02 GMT
News report: Santa Rosa residents survive plane crash

A California family of three – including a two-year-old girl – survived a plane crash with only minor cuts and scratches on Friday after the aircraft’s parachute system lowered them to safety.

The Mendocino County Sheriff’s Office said a man, woman and a two-year-old child from Santa Rosa were five minutes into their journey from Shelter Cove Airport when their single engine plane lost power and crashed.

The aircraft began falling and descended into some trees near Whitethorn, California, authorities said.

As the plane was falling, the pilot made the decision to deploy a parachute system, slowing the plane’s fall enough to make a relatively gentle crash-landing, the Sheriff’s Office added.

All the passengers on board had minor injuries.

The plane was destroyed in the crash
The plane was destroyed in the crash (Shelter Cove Fire via Instagram)

Shelter Cove Fire Department said in a statement posted to Instagram that the family were “extremely fortunate” to only receive minor injuries, while Mendocino County Sheriff’s spokesperson, Captain Quincy Cromer, called it a “miracle”.

“These are usually worst-case scenarios. The fact that they had only minor scratches and abrasions is a miracle,” he said, according to KGO-TV.

While the plane’s occupants emerged from the crash relatively unscathed, the plane was found badly damaged.

Photographs released by the Fire Department show the wrecked plane and parachute caught up in the trees about 100 feet from the ground.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

It is the second time the Shelter Cove Fire Department has responded to a small plane crash in the past two years.

Both incidents resulted in minor injuries and no fatalities, although two aircraft were destroyed, the fire department said.

On Sunday, five people, including a child, were killed when the plane they were travelling in crashed into a wooded area near Virginia’s western border and burst into flames.

Police added that the plane involved in the crash was a “small, private jet”.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in