Paulo Emanuele Was GM Of Popular Aviation Photography Site
ANN REALTIME UPDATE 01.29.09 1000
EST: One of the victims in Wednesday's takeoff downing of
a SIAI Marchetti SF.260C at Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO)
has been identified... and it's a name that's shaken an online
community of aviation enthusiasts.
Paulo Emanuele became general manager of Airliners.net
just shy of two years ago, upon the sale of the aviation
photography and discussion Web site to Demand Media. Though many
contributors to the site had never met Emanuele in person, they
described him Thursday as an enthuastic supporter of all things
aviation, as well as a skilled pilot.
The identity of the second victim onboard the accident plane has
not been released, and investigators are still working to determine
why the plane went down. Reports indicate the turboprop-powered
Marchetti was departing SMO when it suffered engine problems.
Witnesses say the plane appeared to be turning back to the
One witness, who was driving by the airport at the time of the
crash, described seeing the high-performance, low-wing
aircraft about 500 feet above the ground with its nose raised
"The aircraft slowed down and began to roll and head straight
down," Crista Worthy told the Los Angeles Times. "I knew there was
no way he was going to survive that."
"I saw this red plane just go nose down," added a nearby
resident, who declined to be identified. "Then a big crash and fire
and smoke." The FAA Preliminary Report (below) cites an airborne
witness, who said the plane made a sudden turn to the right and
descended at a steep angle.
ANN extends our condolences to Emanuele's family and friends, as
well as to those of the second victim. We will provide further
updates as they become available.
Make/Model: F26T Description:
Date: 01/29/2009 Time: 0105
Event Type: Accident Highest Injury:
Fatal Mid Air: N Missing:
City: SANTA MONICA State: CA
THE AIRCRAFT DEPARTED THE SANTA MONICA AIRPORT RUNWAY 21 AND
BEGAN A LEFT
TURN FOR NOISE ABATEMENT, THEN TURNED BACK TO THE RIGHT
AT A 70 TO 80 DEGREE ANGLE ACCORDING TO AN AIRBORNE WITNESS
AT SANTA MONICA
AIRPORT, SANTA MONICA, CA.
INJURY DATA Total
# Crew: 1 Fat:
# Pass: 1 Fat:
Fat: 0 Ser:
Activity: Unknown Phase:
Climb Operation: OTHER
FAA FSDO: LOS ANGELES, CA
Entry date: 01/29/2009
Two persons onboard a SIAI Marchetti SF-260C were killed
Wednesday evening when their aircraft crashed after takeoff from
the Santa Monica Municipal Airport (SMO).
Witnesses said the plane appeared to lose engine power shortly
after takeoff, just after 5:00 pm PST, and impacted the pavement
near the approach end of runway 3. The pilot may have been
attempting to turn back to the airport when the aircraft went
Footage from the scene indicates the aircraft came to rest flat
on its belly, and caught fire.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor told The Associated Press the
experimental aircraft is registered to Wingspan Inc., based in
Malibu, CA. Identities of the victims have not been released.
Santa Monica Muni was closed Wednesday night, while officials
began their investigation into the accident.