Second body found in SoCal plane collision

CALABASAS, Calif. A second body was found Tuesday at a rugged site in the Santa Monica Mountains where a small plane crashed and burned after a midair collision with another small plane that managed to make a belly landing on a golf course, authorities said.

The discovery was made as investigators examined the crash site and firefighters stood by to make sure the fire did not rekindle in advance of predicted windy conditions, said Los Angeles County Fire Department Inspector Tony Imbrenda.

The site of Monday's crash is a ridge in the mountain range north of Malibu near Calabasas, about 25 miles west of downtown Los Angeles.

The crash of the single-engine Cessna 172 sparked a half-acre brush fire that was quickly controlled.

Television footage showed the plane, which had taken off from Santa Monica airport, was nearly completely destroyed.

Three people on the other plane, also a Cessna, suffered minor injuries as it landed wheels-up on a fairway at Westlake Golf Course, about six miles away. One was hospitalized after complaining of back pain.

Stunned golfers said the single-engine plane hit a tree, spun around 180 degrees and came down surprisingly gently on the grass.

"They said that the reason for the crash was because they (the plane) got hit by a bird," witness Ben Cochran told CBS Los Angeles.

Preliminary radar records showed the two flight paths crossed about 2 p.m., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

The plane that ended up on the golf course was flying west at an altitude of 3,500 feet as the other Cessna headed east, Kenitzer said.

The National Transportation Safety Board and FAA were investigating.

FAA records showed the plane on the golf course was manufactured in 1980 and is registered to Ameriflyers of Florida, LLC. A message left at a number listed for the company was not immediately returned.

Firefighters were expected to remain on the scene near Calabasas for two more days. The National Weather Service predicted winds up to 45 mph in the area on Wednesday.