|San Diego Union. Mon., 17 Mar 1980, pB-1|
Plane Crash Kills Man, 3 Survive
Pilot Badly Burned as Tragedy Ends Vacation Trip Here
by Bill Doyle
One man was killed and another seriously burned yesterday when their small plane crashed while attempting to return to Montgomery Field with engine trouble.
James Newton Keeline, 46, of Lake Oswego, OR, a passenger in the front seat of the single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza, burned to death when the plane crashed into a muddy field about 1,000 yards southwest of the runway.
Ronald Brown, 39, also of Lake Oswego, the plane's pilot and owner, was taken by ambulance to Sharp Memorial Hospital for treatment of a back injury and burns on 20 percent of his body.
Virginia Keeline and Diana Brown were able to escape from the burning plane before firefighters arrived from a nearby fire station. They were taken to the hospital, treated for minor injuries and released.
Deputy Coroner Douglas Haggin said Brown, owner of Ron W. Brown Investments in Portland, was returning with his wife and the Keelines after vacationing in this area for a week. According to officials, a warning light on the plane's dashboard indicated there was a malfunction, and Brown radioed the Montgomery Field tower for emergency landing instructions.
A full first-alarm fire response of three engine and a truck company was dispatched, along with a rescue unit from downtown San Diego. The first unit was on the scene within minutes of the crash.
Haggin said the Keelines and Browns had been visiting friends in San Clemente and Rosarito Beach during the past week. Saturday night the Browns were in Mexico while the Keelines were in San Clemente.
He said the plane had fueled up and was taking off from the airport shortly before 11:50 a.m. when, according to witnesses, black smoke began coming from the back of the plane.
"Being a pilot, I knew he was having trouble," said Rashid Hussian. "I could hear the motor missing and then it stopped as they were attempting to make a left turn to come back."
"I know it's standard rules you have to be at least 1,000 feet before you can make a turn and they weren't but 400 feet or so. I yelled, 'There's going to be a crash!' and started running toward the field."
Michael Lonnie Kipper, a part-time tutor at UCSD, heard Hussian's shout.
"I don't know whether the other guy was ejected from the plane or got out on his own, but when we arrived he was lying on the ground some distance away," Kipper said.
"There was only a moment ­p; I lost sight of the plane prior to the crash, but I watched it coming down as we were running."
Although the landing gear was in place, investigators sid the plane hit the muddy field with such force the wheels dug into the ground.
Fire Capt. Richard Winter, assigned yesterday to Station 28 near the crash site, said he and two other fire fighters were standing outside the west side of a building when they heard the engine sputtering and looked up to see the disabled plane.
"I ran around the building to follow its path while another fireman went inside [to] notify the alarm office. We started running, but hadn't gone far before it crashed," Winter said.
|Last Modified 26 Aug 1994||Created 8 Jul 2000 by Reunion for Macintosh|