Skip to Content

Pilot killed in Ventura County plane crash identified


The Ventura County Coroner’s Office has identified the pilot killed in Thursday’s plane crash near Solimar Beach as 52-year-old Michael Brannigan of Lake Sherwood.

Brannigan died when his plane crashed in the mountainside just north of U.S. Highway 101 and Taylor Ranch Road. He died from blunt force trauma, according to the Coroner’s Office.

The Cessna 180 fixed-wing single-engine aircraft was registered solely to Brannigan. Pieces of the aircraft fell across Pacific Coast Highway and the beach prior to crashing. No one else was injured in this incident.



The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating a plane crash in the mountainside near Solimar Beach in Ventura County that occurred just before 12 p.m. Thursday.

Witnesses reported seeing pieces of the single-engine plane fall from the sky along Pacific Coast Highway at 11:58 a.m. The NTSB tweeted that the aircraft was a Cessna 180.

A piece of the aircraft was located on Emma Wood State Beach in Ventura County according to emergency traffic radio. 911 callers reported that parts of the aircraft also landed on their property. Ventura County firefighters have located pieces of the plane, including a fuselage, on the beach.

There is one confirmed fatality according to Ventura County Fire Department spokesperson Steve Swindle. Authorities say only the pilot was onboard the plane at the time of the crash.

A cadaver dog was requested to assist with the search of a large debris field.

There were unconfirmed reports that a second aircraft may have been involved in this incident and a possible mid-air collision may have occurred, but officials now believe it was only one plane that was involved in Thursday’s incident.

The Ventura County Fire Department said the crash site lies in a remote area north of U.S. Highway 101 and Taylor Ranch Road in private property.

U.S. 101 was not impacted and the beach is active with visitors. The only areas closed off to the public are those where debris from the plane was found.

No further details were immediately known. The cause of the crash is under investigation.

Watch aerial footage of the crash site below courtesy of KABC.

Article Topic Follows: News

Jump to comments ↓

Author Profile Photo

News Channel 3-12

Email the News Channel 3-12 Team


News Channel 3-12 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content