NBC 7 News has learned the man who survived the crash of a single-engine plane in Oceanside last week is a certified pilot who attended San Diego State University.
Luke Austin Hutchison, 25, survived the initial impact and waited inside the wreckage of the plane for approximately 10 hours until emergency crews found him.
NBC 7 has learned Hutchison attended San Diego State University from 2015-2017 and is a certified commercial pilot.
He was in a Piper Cherokee Warrior that took off from Oceanside Municipal Airport at 9 p.m. on Jan. 30.
Investigators say the plane crashed into the side of a hill approximately 10 to 20 feet from the top of a ridge located half a mile west of the airport, on Canyon Drive near State Route 76.
Witnesses reported the crash Monday night but police were not able to find the wreckage, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).
It wasn’t until the next morning at 7:14 a.m. when a witness driving on the highway called Oceanside police.
When firefighters and emergency personnel made their way to the site of the crash, they found one man dead and another suffering from major injuries including broken bones and cuts to his face.
Raymond Allen Petty, Jr., 58, of Yorba Linda, died in the collision. Petty was a licensed pilot but wasn’t certified to fly in those weather conditions, according to his family. Petty was found in the left seat, the seat typically reserved for whoever is piloting the plane, but his family told NBC 7 that Petty had let his pilot registration lapse.
Hutchison told rescue crews the plane crashed over five hours before they were found, but the FAA confirmed the man was trapped in the wreck for much longer.
He was moved to Scripps La Jolla Hospital by Mercy Air.
FAA spokesperson Ian Gregor said there were only two people onboard the plane. He said an investigation has been launched into the cause of the crash.
NTSB investigator Tealeye Cornejo said it was a high-energy takeoff, and the plane was traveling at a faster airspeed to get off the ground but may have failed to get above the cliff.
Investigators with local fire and law enforcement agencies who first responded to the crash identified Petty as the pilot, but NTSB investigators have yet to make that determination.
Photo Credit: LinkedIn/SkyRanger 7
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Source: NBC San Diego