An air show pilot based at the Santa Paula, CA airport (KSZP)
was one of two people fatally injured when the Cessna 180 they were
flying went down in a riverbed near the airport Sunday night.
Cessna C 180 File Photo
Ventura County, CA Chief Deputy Medical Examiner James Baroni
has identified the two who were killed as James "Seamus" McCaughley
Jr. and Kristin Keppel, according to the Associated Press.
McCaughley was an experienced air show pilot. The FAA's preliminary
investigation report indicates that the Cessna struck a powerline
and went down in the riverbed. FAA spokesperson Allen Kenitzer told
the LA Times that the aircraft appeared to suffer an
engine failure shortly after takeoff.
Television station KABC reports that one of the victims was
found in the airplane, but the other was nearby. It is not known if
that person was ejected from the aircraft when it went down, or
survived long enough to get clear of the wreckage.
Television station KEYT reports that McCaughley had recently
moved to Santa Paula from Santa Monica, CA.
McCaughley's Facebook page notes that his father was a pilot and
A&P mechanic who maintained and flew a Cessna 210, and the
tradition was passed down. Seamus McCaughley performed in west
coast shows in a biplane he called the "Bleagle," a modified and
strengthened Christen Eagle with a 350-horsepower Lycoming IO-540
replacing the original IO-360.