A small, single-engine plane crashed shortly after takeoff from the Santa Barbara Airport on Sunday morning.
The Los Angeles Times reported that local authorities had found debris that matches that of the missing Cessna 182 Skylane. The condition and whereabouts of the pilot were still unknown at the time of the report.
The Public Information Officer for Santa Barbara County Fire, Mike Eliason, told reporters that an eyewitness report of the crash indicates that the plane descended rapidly after taking off from the Santa Barbara Airport at approximately 7:55 a.m.
Rescue crews from the local fire department, the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, and the U.S. Coast Guard are scouring the area around the crash site for any sign of the missing female pilot.
It is believed that she was the only person on board when the plane went down in the waters off of Isla Vista.
Officials say that the plane had taken off from Santa Barbara and was headed toward its final destination of Lake Tahoe. The plane is believed to have gone down 2.5 miles off the coast of Santa Barbara, and the four teams are continuing their search. The water around the debris field is estimated to be 180 to 250 feet deep.
This is a developing story.