Pilot in Catalina plane crash identified as Coronado man

    Editor’s note: Our thoughts and prayers go out to Jeff’s friends and family.

    AVALON – Jeffery Glen Loeffler, 53, of Coronado, has been identified as the pilot recovered July 1 following the crash of a single-engine private plane on Santa Catalina Island, officials said.

    An autopsy has been completed, but the cause of death has yet to be determined. In pilot deaths, the coroner defers a conclusion until toxicology tests are completed by the National Transportation Safety Board, said Lt. Joe Bale of the coroner’s office.

    Before the plane crashed, the pilot, who was the only person on board, told officials at the island’s airport he was having a possible heart attack, said Deputy Burt Lyon with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department’s Avalon Station.

    Read the entire article from the Contra Costa Times.


    AP Story from July 1st, 2010

    AVALON, Calif. — A single-engine plane crashed Thursday on Catalina Island, killing its pilot who had just reported a medical emergency and igniting a brush fire nearby.

    Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Lt. Jeff Donahue said the pilot, who has not been identified, was the only person aboard the Cessna 182P when it crashed shortly after 1 p.m on the popular tourist destination more than 20 miles off Southern California.

    Fire Inspector Matt Levesque said the wreckage was discovered about two miles from the island’s airfield, Airport in the Sky.

    The pilot had radioed the airport to report he was having chest pains that could indicate a heart attack and that he didn’t think he could reach the runway, Donahue said.

    Fire officials arrived at the crash site about three hours later after battling a 20-acre brush fire ignited by the crash. The fire was 80 percent contained but would probably burn through the night, authorities said.

    Donahue said several youth camps were in the area, but they were not immediately threatened by the fire.

    Catalina’s small airport sits at an elevation of about 1,600 feet in the mountainous interior, with a steep drop-off at one end of the runway.


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