Newly released footage from John Wayne Airport security cameras shows the twin-engine plane that crash-landed on the I-405 freeway last month erupting in flames with a cloud of smoke then ballooning into the sky.
The two videos, provided by the Orange County Fire Authority, capture the crash from a distance, unlike ones taken by motorists on the freeway.
But they offer unobstructed views of how the Cessna 310R approached John Wayne Airport, but instead of making it back barreled into one of the busiest freeways in America. The plane collided with the center-divider, glanced off some vehicles and caught fire.
The plane had taken off from John Wayne on Friday morning, June 30, when the right engine died. The pilot and his wife, Francis and Janan Pisano, tried to make it back to the airport – or at least to a clearance zone, aviation and law-enforcement officials said at the time.
After the plane crashed, Janan Pisano staggered out of her seat and onto the freeway. Francis Pisano needed to be helped out by an off-duty fire captain. The couple suffered back injuries that required multiple surgeries.
They were released from the hospital sometime in July, Orange County Global Medical Center officials said last week, but still have lengthy rehabilitations ahead of them.
Somehow, no motorists died or were seriously injured.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash, and so is the California Highway Patrol.
“There’s no new information, really,” said Capt. Larry Kurtz of the OCFA, who provided the videos.
In the first security film taken from the airport, an American jet sits at a gate in the foreground. The small plane appears in the upper left-hand corner of the video. A black dot against an overcast sky, the plane appears on a steady descent – before suddenly dropping.
It hits the freeway and an explosion follows.
The second video is from a John Wayne parking lot on the other side of the freeway. At about the 15-second mark,…