Santa Monica Plane Crash: Feds Launch Investigation

PREVIOUSLY: By Associated Press

SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Federal investigators are listening to Santa Monica Airport audio tapes and interviewing maintenance workers in an effort to determine the cause of single-engine plane crash into the yard of a vacant home.

The student pilot, whose name hasn't been released, was pulled from the Cessna 172 wreckage after the Monday afternoon crash into a neighborhood about a quarter-mile west of the runway.

The pilot had a broken leg and he underwent surgery Monday night.

National Transportation Safety Board senior investigator Wayne Pollack says the accident site investigation is complete and the wreckage is now at a desert storage facility north of Los Angeles. It will be examined on Wednesday.

Investigators are listening to air traffic communication tapes and interviewing airport tower witnesses and operators of the Justice Aviation flight school.

UPDATE: By The Huffington Post

KTLA reports that the owner of the home is actress Rachel Blanchard who fittingly enough had a role in 'Snakes on a Plane.'