Plane Hits Store, Crashes in Parking Lot

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image: fox5 san diego

image: fox5 san diego

A Mooney M-20L crashed in the parking lot of a shopping center in San Diego on Wednesday, after clipping the top of a Target store. The single passenger, an 80-year-old woman, was killed, and the pilot, age 52, was seriously hurt but is expected to survive, according to local officials. The airplane caught fire, but several bystanders quickly moved to help and the flames were doused, according to The Associated Press. The airplane had bounced while attempting to land at nearby Montgomery Field, according to the FAA, and the pilot was going around for another try when the crash occurred. A helicopter pilot said he heard the pilot report an engine failure.

Vince Carter said he had taken off from the field and was flying nearby when he heard the pilot tell ATC she had lost power on takeoff. "She said she lost power and she was going down and that was it," he told the local KFMB-TV. Carter also spoke to KNSD-TV and said the accident could have been much worse. "This is a miracle and testament to her skill as a pilot," he said. "You could imagine, just shopping at Target, and a plane comes through the roof full of fuel. She stalled it out pretty much perfectly in the only spot she possibly could have." In fact, in April 2012, a Seawind crashed through the roof of a grocery store in Florida; five people were hurt, including the two in the airplane.