Two Cessna 172 airplanes collided over the Santa Monica Mountains Monday, leaving one pilot dead after his plane plummeted into the mountains. The pilot of the second plane managed to land on the third fairway of the Westlake Village golf course, leaving all passengers with only minor injuries.
After crashing at an altitude of 3,500 feet, both aircraft hit the ground within minutes of each other, about 10 miles apart. Firefighters discovered the first plane in the Santa Monica Mountains when they responded to a small wildfire the crash created. Rescuers found the body of the pilot later that evening.
At the Westlake Village golf course, witnesses to the second plane's landing reported that it had a surprisingly gentle landing, making only a thud when it hit the ground. The plane landed 50 feet to the left of golfer Aaron Jess just after he’d hit his ball into some trees to the right. “Finally being a bad golfer paid off,” he said.