A single engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Lake Tahoe Airport late Monday morning, apparently killing the male pilot and injuring his wife, according to Lake Tahoe News.
The names of the Palo Alto couple were not released Monday, but the woman was apparently conscious when she was airlifted by Calstar to Renown Medical Center in Reno, according to the paper. She is expected to recover from her injuries.
According to the Lake Tahoe News, the plane took off from the Lake Tahoe Airport around 11:15 a.m., banked to the right, lost altitude and crashed about three-quarters of a mile east of the airport.
A Calstar flight nurse, Beth Frisby, who was walking in the area, was first on the scene. She called her husband, Damian Frisby a deputy with El Dorado County Sheriff, who was able to track her location via GPS on her phone. She was assessing the condition of the plane occupants when crews arrived.
"A lot of fuel was leaking, so we were concerned when we got here," Lt. Pete VanArnum, spokesman for El Dorado County Sheriff's told the Lake Tahoe News. He also said it was lucky that the plane did not explode or cause much of a fire.
According to the paper, another plane in the area saw the Mooney M20 flying low and heard the crash. It also picked up the emergency beacon from the downed plane which enabled Calstar to locate the crash site. The plane had plowed through trees and flipped, landing upside down.
"It's a fairly powerful plane, but on a hot day like this, it's fairly easy to lose density altitude and have problems," VanArnum told the Lake Tahoe News.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the Mooney M20 crashed into a wooded area around 11:15 a.m. shortly after taking off from Lake Tahoe Airport. He could not confirm the plane's tail number, or that anyone was killed or injured in the crash. Both the FAA and NTSB will be investigating the crash.