Private Airplane Crash in Kearny Mesa Kills Pilot
Pictured: Same airplane pictured in 2020.
Photo Credit: Alex Crail, jetphotos.com.
A 46-year old private pilot was killed in an airplane accident at Montgomery Field Airport in Kearny Mesa just before noon on Saturday, November 5th.
Pilot Andre Roosevelt Green was the only occupant of a rented Cirrus SR20 airplane, a four-seat aircraft that he had been flying during several practice landings that day.
During final approach to land, Green contacted the air traffic controller at Montgomery claiming some form of problem with the trim control of the aircraft, an adjustment that helps pilots maintain up and down, and side to side, control during flight.
“My trim in on,” Green is heard saying on the air traffic control recording. “The trim is activating by itself… I’m having an emergency,” Green said.
But Green did not use his airplane’s tail number, N700YZ, to identify himself so the controller did not know which airplane was calling in with a problem.
“Who’s having a trim problem? You have a stuck mic,” the controller responded without knowing which airplane was calling in about a trim issue.
Within seconds, the controller asked N700YZ to offset, meaning to deviate to the side of the runway he was about to overshoot.
Green's last radio transmission was in response to the direction to deviate.
"I can't. I gotta land," Green exclaimed before crashing.
The aircraft crashed at the Northwest corner of the airport just off the departure end of the two runways at Montgomery Field.
“Montgomery Field is closed,” the same controller announced over the radio after Green crashed.
Eyewitnesses and videos suggest the airplane was pitching up and down before crashing, a sign that Green may have been struggling to keep the airplane pitch in control.
Green, who was initially trapped in the airplane and extracted by emergency personnel who responded to the crash, was transported to a local hospital where he was later pronounced dead.
The accident airplane, tracked by its tail number, N700YZ, is registered to a company named Exyion Aviation in Irvine, California, and is offered for rent to private pilots.
The only pilot listed on the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) website under the name Andre Roosevelt Green had a student license issued in 2004, but not a full Private Pilot License. La Prensa San Diego could not confirm that this record is for the same pilot involved in the accident.
Student pilots may fly alone during training flights with the written endorsement of a Certified Flight Instructor (CFI), and must have a recent CFI endorsement issued no more than 90 days earlier. Students pilots are also limited from carrying any passengers.
For student pilots flying from smaller airports like Montgomery Airport that are within Bravo airspace around busy airports, including San Diego International Airport, students must have specific training on the airspace and have written approval every 90 days from an instructor to fly to from that airport.
It is not clear whether Green had that specific training and instructor permission.
Cirrus airplanes, like the one in this accident, have parachutes that can be deployed to bring the entire airplane to the ground. The parachute, known as the Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, or CAPS, was not deployed in this crash.
Although the manufacturer suggests a minimum altitude of 600 feet above the ground for deployment of the parachute, successful deployments have occurred at lower altitudes.
As of the date of the accident, there have been 138 deployments of Cirrus CAPS parachutes with 117 people having been saved from what would have been fatal accidents.
The National Traffic Safety Board (NTSB) is investigating the crash. NTSB reports are usually released up to two years after a crash.