Two Pilots Dead After Small Plane Bound For Hawaii Crashes 40 Miles Off The Coast Of California

AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

Alexander Pease Contributor
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Two people died as a result of a plane crash which took place off the California coast Sunday.

Initially, the small plane was headed for Honolulu, Hawaii and took-off at Santa Rosa-Sonoma County just after 8:20 a.m. Sunday morning, the L.A. Times reported. A couple of hours later, the aircraft abandoned course and instead made its way toward a small public airstrip in Half Moon Bay, California. It never made it, crashing at 2:15 p.m. approximately 40 miles away from the airport.

Those on-board notified air traffic control of the turn-around, citing “mechanical issues.” (RELATED: ‘Engine Problems’: Commercial Plane En Route To New York Goes Ablaze Mid-Flight)

Following an afternoon call for Mayday help from the aircraft just before the crash, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) advised boaters in the vicinity southwest of the Farallon Islands to keep an eye out for a “small plane in distress” as well as individuals in a “yellow life raft.” (RELATED: News Chopper Catches Footage Of Fiery Banner Plane Crash That Killed Pilot)

But when first responders for the U.S. military service arrived, they came across the plane “upside down” in the water with its occupants submerged inside, USCG Petty Officer Matthew West stated. (RELATED: Plane Crash Prompts Engine Maker For Pentagon’s Star Fighter Jet To Halt Deliveries)

National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) spokesperson Sarah Taylor Sulick confirmed there were no other passengers beside the pilot and co-pilot who passed away. Investigators on behalf of the NTSB are in the process of recovering the aircraft which descended into the Pacific Ocean. The federal agency is also probing the identity of the person who owned the private plane. “FAA records show it was registered to a trust managed by the Bank of Utah,” according to the report.

The plane which tragically plummeted was identified as a Viking Air DHC-6-400 Twin Otter, categorized as a miniature turboprop aircraft.

This is at least the third fatal plane crash which has occurred off the coast of California so far this May.

Earlier this month, the USCG was forced to suspend the search for those aboard another small plane which crashed off the coast of Southern California earlier May which is believed to have taken three lives, according to an official May 11 USCG San Diego Branch 11 press release.

More recently, three American military contractors who hailed from Georgia were also killed in a plane crash off the coast of California during a U.S. Navy exercise, American Military News reported.

The names of the late pilot and co-pilot from the crash which occurred over the weekend have not been released to the public at the time of publication.