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Plane emergency lands at Santa Barbara Municipal Airport shortly after takeoff

A private business plane that had taken off from Santa Barbara Municipal Airport had to return after suffering autopilot issues shortly after takeoff Saturday afternoon.

According to the plane tracking website Flight Aware, the twin-jet Cessna Citation departed from SBA at approximately 1:28 p.m. with a destination of San Jose International Airport.

Less than a half an hour after departing, the plane was diverted back to SBA.

Santa Barbara dispatch sent out an emergency alert at the airport in preparation for the flight’s return.

The plane landed safely at 2:16 p.m. and was able to taxi on its own. The flight lasted only 48 minutes.

Airport Operations Manager Tracy Lincoln said there were two people on board the plane and the pilot called in as a precaution.

Lincoln said that the plane had an issue with its autopilot but was still operational.

No injuries were reported.

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