Plane crashes in ocean off Santa Barbara

Monday, April 20, 2009
SANTA BARBARA: Authorities say a pilot is missing after his small plane crashed into the ocean off the Santa Barbara coast.

Federal Aviation Association spokesman Ian Gregor says in a statement that the single engine Extra EA300 disappeared off radar Sunday evening.

A Santa Barbara County Sheriff Department helicopter crew later found debris and an oil slick about two miles (3.2 kilometers) offshore.

The plane is registered to a Santa Barbara company called Otter Enterprises, but no phone listing for that company could be found. A sheriff's dispatcher says Coast Guard crews are assisting in the search for the pilot, the only person believed to have been aboard the plane when it crashed. The crash is under investigation by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

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