...And Torrance Neighbors Unfazed By Accidents

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Maybe it's a unique Southern California perspective, born of living in an area prone to earthquakes, wildfires, and mudslides, but neighbors near Torrance Airport -- who are not otherwise affiliated with aviation -- nonetheless seem unfazed by two recent airplane crashes that hit homes and yards. "Even the 89-year-old woman, [Margie Somers], whose house was torn in half by a crashing plane this month says she doesn't give much thought to living in the flight path," the local Daily Breeze reported on Tuesday. "It's safer living under this landing pattern than on Pacific Coast Highway," said Somers' son Mark. "It's more likely that you're going to get hit by a car than by an airplane." Others interviewed by the newspaper reported similarly lofty views. "So few of them fall out of the sky," said Donna Martinez, who lives about a block from Somers' house. "I didn't put a for-sale sign up." Nonetheless, local officials have called for a meeting with airport authorities to review safety at the field, and some residents have complained about the noise. In July 2003, a Piper Warrior lost power while climbing out of Torrance and crashed into a front yard. The airplane was destroyed but the pilot walked away. Somers' house was hit by a Cessna 210 on Nov. 4. The airplane caught fire on impact, and the pilot remains in critical condition.