New report released on fatal Santa Monica plane crash

National Transportation Safety Board releases report on Sept. 8 crash

By Keemia Soltani-Zhang

A preliminary report released last week by the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) revealed witness statements about the plane crash that killed flight instructor Christian West and student pilot Jackson Nazario at the Santa Monica airport on September 8.

Onlookers describe the plane “making a hard landing” before climbing erratically nose up, according to ABC 7. The plane suddenly descended and crashed 100 feet onto the tarmac, bursting into flames. The Santa Monica Fire Department responded to the scene around 4:30 p.m.

The report states that “All witnesses provided similar accounts of the aircraft continuing to pitch up, before leveling off at the top of the climb, then turning left, descending and colliding with the floor”. The instructor could have been heard shouting “Let go, let go…….let go, let go, let go” before the plane crashed.

The two-seater Piper Sport aircraft was operated by a local flight school and had completed forty-five minutes of ground instruction and approximately one hour of flight time prior to the accident.

West, a graduate of Santa Monica College, had worked as a flight instructor since 2018 and was looking to become a commercial pilot. Relatives have set up a gofundme to support the funeral expenses of Nazario, who aspired to work in audio production.

“Anyone who knew Jackson will tell you, he is an ultra-light beam, his energy emanated from everyone around him. His love, curiosity and wonder guided him on his journey of travel and encounters. Everywhere he went he made a friend, he was a friend. reads the fundraising page. “Jackson had a brave way of being himself. His efforts to give were limitless, he gave with such an open and pure heart. Jackson was blessed with a keen insight that made him a truly special person. .

As anyone can imagine, it was the most trying moment of our lives, to feel the sudden physical loss of a son, a brother, a soul mate, a friend…a legend ! Our hearts are broken. With your love and support, we will get through this with strength and resilience. Donations will go directly to Jackson’s family to help cover the bills while they take time to grieve and figure out how to move forward.

A full investigative report is expected to be released by the NTSB in the coming days.