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Pilot crashes at Santa Monica Airport

August 2, 2009 |  4:15 pm

A plane trying to make an emergency landing crashed today on the runway at Santa Monica Airport, authorities said.

The single-engine Long-EZ departed on what was described as a local flight from the airport about 2:45 p.m. and lost power almost immediately, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

The pilot, who was the only person aboard, turned around and tried to land at the airport but crashed and skidded off the runway, according to a written statement from Gregor.

The pilot was taken to a hospital, authorities said. His condition was not immediately known.

Cecil Manresa of the Los Angeles Fire Department said there was no fire, but Gregor said preliminary reports indicated the plane was destroyed.

-- Ari B. Bloomekatz