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Three killed in Catalina plane crash [UPDATED]

Mecatalinaplanecrash7_2 Three people were killed after their Orange County-bound plane crashed onto a remote hilltop on Catalina Island late Thursday, officials said today.

A search helicopter located the wreckage about 10 a.m. on a hilltop area just west of Catalina’s Airport in the Sky, said Los Angeles County Sheriff Sgt. John Hudson.

A search-and-rescue team found three burned bodies in the wreckage. Although the crash victims have not been identified, they are believed to be pilot Mark Hogland and his two passengers, who took off in the small airplane Thursday but never landed, according to U.S. Coast Guard officials.

"There were no survivors,” Hudson said.

Hogland, who chartered a fixed wing Bonanza aircraft out of Orange County, took off from the island at 4:50 p.m Thursday and was expected to land at John Wayne Airport in Santa Ana at 5:10 p.m.

The Coast Guard began searching for the plane around 10:30 p.m. after Hogland’s fiancee reported that she had not heard from him. It was raining and cloudy when the plane took off, so the weather and poor visibility may have been factors.

Mark Hogland, 48, is the president of SkyBlue USA, a Dana Point company that, according to its website, offers sightseeing tours along "Southern California’s beautiful coastline, Catalina Island and other scenic locations."

Sheriff's officials confirmed the plane belonged to his company.

Sheriff's officials are investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Department of the Coroner, which is working to identify the victims.

Since Thursday  night the U.S. Coast Guard and Los Angeles and Orange County sheriff officials and lifeguard agencies have been scouring the waters around Catalina and the coastline with patrol boats, a large C-130 aircraft and helicopters.

The Coast Guard also is looking into any radio communications they may have been sent after the plane took off.

Updated, 1 p.m.: Mark Hogland, the Dana Point pilot who died in a plane crash with two passengers aboard on Santa Catalina Island Thursday, was not licensed to conduct charter flights, Federal Aviation Administration records show.

Hogland was certified on Aug. 20, 2008, with a private pilot's license, but that did not qualify him for commercial flights such as sightseeing tours. The 1983 Beechcraft Bonanza fixed-wing, single-engine plane was registered to SkyBlue USA, according to FAA records, and had been used for charter flights. But sheriff's officials do not know what kind of flight Hogland was conducting Thursday.

"We don't know whether the three were affiliated as friends or whether they chartered him to bring them over here," said Deputy Burt Lyon of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Avalon Station. The FAA is investigating the crash. Spokesman Ian Gregor declined to comment on the crash specifically, but said  "looking at pilot qualifications are a part of every FAA active investigation."

Updated, 2:45 p.m.: An earlier version of this post called the plane a Beechwood Bonanza. It is a Beechcraft Bonanza.

-- Tony Barboza

Comments () | Archives (21)

The statement that the pilot was issued his PRIVATE PILOT's LICENSE in August of 2008 was INCORRECT. I looked up his FAA certification and he has an instrument rating. The "date of issuance" is the date the last time the gave you a new certificate. In this case he would have had to had a PRIVATE LICENSE to get an INSTRUMENT RATING. Thus, August 2008 was probably for that. I could have also been for a replacement certificate.

According to the FAA records I find on the web, his medical certificate was issued in August, 2008. It doesn't say when he earned his Private Pilot certificate or Instrument Rating but it was likely earlier that that.

I am trying to help my daughter find out if her friend Amy was on that flight.

Thank you Brian, we are trying to make sense of tis tragedy as the family of the girl involved in the wreck and we didn't believe that he was a new pilot. Thank you for the clarification and as another note,
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of all three people who were killed here. This looks like it isn't as rare of an incedent as it should be and I really think that someone needs to look into the safety of flying in bad weather from this airport or relocating it to a safer area.

Mark was a very good friend to me though out high school.He will be missed greatly.He will always be in my heart and in my good memories.My prays and thoughts are with all of his family and friends

My heart goes out to all their loved ones!

Mark was a wonderful guy. He was one of the kindest people you will ever meet. I am very proud to have known and been a personal friend of Mark's. Our prayers go out to his girls, Melinda, his mom and dad, his brothers and sister, his friends in Tuttle, OSU and Santa Ana. He will truly be missed but not forgotten.

@slk, 3rd class medical certificates (the kind you need to exercise the privileges of a Private or Student pilot license) are valid for only two years. So, unless he just got his license in the last few months, he has been a pilot for at least few years and the latest one was issued to replace an expiring cert.

I hope everyone remembers Mark for what he was: A great guy. I am going to miss Mark alot and he was the type of person you rarely find. Hard working and down to earth. His fiance mentioned in several of the articles is one of the greatest ladies you will meet and my heart goes out to her at this time. Gods speed mark.

I hope everyone remembers Mark for what he was: A great guy. I am going to miss Mark alot and he was the type of person you rarely find. Hard working and down to earth. His fiance mentioned in several of the articles is one of the greatest ladies you will meet and my heart goes out to her at this time. Gods speed mark.

Amy...... If I could take back time I would let you know how much you impacted my life. Your thoughtfulness for people was immeasurable . Always thinking of others before your self. I know god has brought you home. Until we meet again. I love you and will miss you.

Amy...... If I could take back time I would let you know how much you impacted my life. Your thoughtfulness for people was immeasurable . Always thinking of others before your self. I know god has brought you home. Until we meet again. I love you and will miss you.

Lucy, sadly it was Amy Judd of Idaho.. I knew her through my nephew. I'm very sad about this, and my heart goes out to her family.

I will always remember Amy's smile and how excited she would get when we were learning something new in Esthetician school. You will be missed not only by me but by all those who knew and loved you. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Until we meet again you will be in my heart.

sister from another family i miss you so mcuh all ready. You will always be in my heart i love you so much. I wish you were still here and i wish i could call you and have you give me advice to get through this. You had such a big heart and such a beautiful smile. thank you for helping me through the hard times. My thoughts and prayers are wiht your family i cant imagine they pain they are suffering i love you with all my heart!

The only blame that can be placed anywhere is on the low standards which has allowed this airport to maintain operation. The runway is ridiculously small and if you look back at the history, there have been 8 crashes in the last 10 years causing the deaths of 20 people. That is a mighty statistic that should gain some attention.
As for the pilot, he obviously had a passion for flying and knew what he was doing. I am sorry for his family's loss. As for the passengers, Marshall was a unique individual... irreplaceable and loved by many. Although I did not know her, it's apparent she was a lovely girl and will equally be missed. Rest in peace my good friend.

Mark was an incredible guy, an amazing man, and a true professional in every sense of the word. To say that he will be missed is a major understatement.

As far as the question to his experience- Mark was a very experienced pilot (I think 20+ years), loved to fly and always put safety first. I have been in that plane a few times and always felt very, very safe. He had flown in-and-out of Catalina many times and was familiar with the runway & it's layout... Mark loved Catalina and wouldn't have flown if there was a shred of doubt.

Mark had made such an impact on my life during the 2 short years he was in it. He brought joy to all that knew him, and was such a kind hearted and gentle man. He had so much love to give and unfortunately, his fiancee Lorna will never see the bright future that they had planned to spend together.

Mark is forever in my heart!

Mark was a phenominal individual to say the least. To turn on the tv after a long day of teaching people how to fly, seeing his face, and hearing this news is heart-wrenching to say the least. I was a former flight instructor for Mark. His talent and love for aviation was of the highest standards I have seen in my 13 years of profession. To the families and all friends of the 3 victims in this tragedy, my deepest condolences to you.
To Mark...You will forever remain in my heart, mind, and soul. I look forward to flying with you again on the other side. Godspeed my friend...

to Lucy, the young woman in this crash is Amy Marie Yearsley Judd from Boise Idaho.

As her mom, I appreciate all of the kind words and prayers that have been offered in our behalf.

Mark was a fool. I'm a professional flight instructor in my opinion, he murdered those unfortunate unknowing passengers. He was taking illegal charter flights according to the FAA. He was not qualified, his aircraft was not approved for that type of operation, and I heard but can't verify that his airplane did not have the required annual inspection for any flight whatsoever. I doubt if his insurance company will pay anything on the claim if he even had insurance at all. These facts will come out in trial. FAA rules and regulations are put in place for a reason. Apparently Mark didn't care about them at all. Wait til the law suits hit. You folks have no idea how nasty they get in situations like this. Unfortunately if Mark left behind a family, they will suffer greatly. I feel for them and for the families of the innocent passengers he killed.

I am Mark's oldest daughter and I am heartbroken over what has happened. It still feels so unreal to me, and my heart goes out to all of my family and the families of the passengers. Today is the first day I have been able to look at comments on any news stories, and I want to verify that my dad has been a pilot for years and years and was very responsible. He would have never ever imagined something like this would happen, and I know he took all precautions necessary. There is a lot of false negative information being spread through the media about my father and his qualifications, and that deeply saddens me. I wish everyone could know how important safety was to him, and that he would never ever try to break the rules. This was such a horrible accident. I had the blessing of being able to be here in California and live near him for the past three years and flying was his passion. He was a wonderful man and father and I will remember him every day for the rest of my life. I am so very sorry to the families involved for their loss. I wish there was more I could say, but there seems to be no words to express what I feel.

Thank you for all the kind posts remembering my father, and for any friends or family members of Marshall or Amy, my heart is with you and I am so deeply sorry for your loss.

To my Daddy: I miss you so much and I will never, ever forget you. You'll live on in my heart and in my life, the same place you've always been. Thank you for being my best friend and the most encouraging, great father I could ask for.



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