Public Safety: What We Learned About Yesterday’s WW II Vintage Plane Crash on the 101 Freeway

Yesterday started off with a bang, literally, with Malibu Canyon residents communicating on social media and via messaging about an explosion that occurred near Lost Hills Rd. and Las Virgenes Rd. at approximately 9:45 p.m. on Monday, Oct 22.

Speculation fueled about the possibility of an explosion, or perhaps, the use of a powerful firearm that could have created the loud noise and flash seen on a home surveillance camera. Updated information our publication received throughout the day regarding the possible explosion was forwarded in a series of emails sent to Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Headquarters and subsequently resulting in a NIXLE alert sent out to residents last night at 7:54 p.m.

During the endless morning chaos of deciphering the origin and investigating of the “explosion” heard the night before, yesterday another major incident took place a stone’s throw from the area plagued by non-stop drama.

Like a scene out of a movie, I would say a really good action thriller vs. the over the top Rambo style production put on by LASD HQ the week before last with the multiple SWAT appearances, a vintage WWII airplane crashed right into the 101 freeway at approximately 1:45 pm.

Feature photo and this photo by: Wade Kegley

The pilot survived and no motorists were hurt.

Miracles do happen.

The AT-6 vintage model airplane with German markings, some identify as “Nazi”, is part of a fleet of vintage airplanes belonging to the Condor Squadron, a group of aviation enthusiasts dedicated to preserving aviation history. One of their main activities is memorial flights in restored North American Aviation AT-6/SNJ trainers originally flown during World War II.

The Local Malibu reached out to Condor Squadron and spoke to representative Chris Rushing who confirmed that the pilot in yesterday’s crash is also a pilot employed with Alaska Airlines. Rushing declined to confirm reports of a leak in the fuel line, and would only say he wanted to allow the NTSB to do complete their investigation before releasing any information on the cause.

Photo by: Cole Puente

A few hours after the crash, The Local Malibu received a message regarding a previous incident, on September 1st, where a local resident witnessed a similar vintage aircraft flying dangerously low over the same area where yesterday’s crash occurred. The plane was flying so recklessly, it prompted the resident to call 911 and report it. After hearing about a plane crash involving a similar aircraft to the one she saw on September 1st, the resident called CHP (where 911 calls made from a cell phone get routed to, different from when a landline dials 911) again to follow up on the previous incident she reported.

I asked Rushing if he thought the aircraft flying recklessly could have been one of Condor Squadron’s planes and he dismissed the possibility, quite confident the airmen who are allowed to pilot these vintage aircrafts are skilled, responsible and follow FAA guidelines strictly.

We did confirm there are a few vintage airplane clubs in the area that could have been involved in the September 1st incident.

Additionally, we also learned the flight plan from Van Nuys to Camarillo does include the area where the two incidents occurred, including yesterday’s crash.

So, what do you do if you see a similar situation that causes concern? Document it on video and photograph it – but only if you are in a safe area to do so. Focus on identifying numbers on the tail of the plane, which is like a license plate on a car. If it is an emergency situation that requires calling 911 and you are placing the call from a cell phone, keep in mind the call is re-routed to CHP and could end up going to voicemail (yes, voicemail), so it’s always best to have the station number handy for The Lost Hills Sheriff”s Department. 818.878.1808 (always ask for the watch commander or a commanding officer).

If you see something, say something!


Cece Woods

The Current Report Editor in Chief Cece Woods started The Local Malibu, an activism based platform in 2014. The publication was instrumental in the success of pro-preservation ballot measures and seating five top vote-getters in the Malibu City Council elections.

During the summer of 2018, Woods exposed the two-year law enforcement cover-up in the Malibu Creek State Park Shootings, and a few short months later provided the most comprehensive local news coverage during the Woolsey Fire attracting over one million hits across her social media platforms.

Since 2020, Woods was the only journalist reporting on the on-going public corruption involving former L.A. Metro CEO Phil Washington. Woods worked with Political Corruption expert Adam Loew, DC Watchdog organizations and leaders in the Capitol exposing Washington which ultimately led to the withdrawal of his nomination to head the FAA.

Woods also founded Malibu based 90265 Magazine and Cali Mag devoted to the authentic southern California lifestyle.

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