CARLSBAD (CBS 8) –The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating a single engine plane that crashed onto Carlsbad beach hitting a child on Saturday.
CBS News 8 has exclusive cellphone video from a witness that shows the small plane barreling into a wave and flipping over.
The plane went down on the beach along the 4600 block of Carlsbad Boulevard between the Carlsbad power plant and Tamarack Avenue just after 3:00 p.m. Saturday.
“It was towing a Geico commercial ad behind it and I noticed the plane was going slow I took out my camera and the engine stopped,” said Thomas Morrison.
He shot the exclusive video from the jetty just north of the power plant where he saw the 23-year-old pilot flying north and turn east and glide south.
“At one moment he looked like he was going to land in the water then he banked over in the sand again that's when you see in the footage he tried to do a little bit of both and landed it,” said Morrison.
California State Park officials say a 12-year-old was hit by the plane and transported to Rady Children’s Hospital with unknown injuries.
“The pilot was towing a banner at the time and lost power. That was the only indication he has given us," said Lt. Justin McHenry, California State Parks.
Dean Nesbitt was just feet away on the beach when the pilot dropped the banner.
“I saw the plane coming in, engine off, it was silent that is why no one had any time to scatter. No one heard it coming,” said Nesbitt. “Being that silent you never expect something to come out of the sky like that. I just happened to catch it walking back over here and I thought this isn't going to be good."
Families enjoying the Fourth of July panicked when they saw the plane gliding down towards them.
“People were yelling for people get out of the way, 'get out of the water,'” said Darrel Hicks.
Witnesses say the wing hit the waves and the plane flipped over on the shoreline.
“As soon as he hit the ground his tail flipped over, I could see a couple kids duck over,” said Shawn Hicks.
Cellphone video from another witness shows emergency crews swarm the 12-year-old boy.
A spokesperson for Rady’s says his condition is not being released. Witnesses say they saw he had a cut to the back of his head.
Emergency crews had the area taped off. The pilot was uninjured and stayed on the scene to speak to investigators.
Nearly four hours later, the plane was pushed to the seawall where a crane hoisted it onto a tow truck. The owner of the plane from Air Ads Inc. watched in disbelief.
“I’m shocked,” said Jim Oakley. “He [pilot] is upset that he lost his airplane. It's destroyed now it will take years to put back together."
With so many families on the beach for Independence Day beachgoers say this could have been a massive tragedy.
“I could see the pilot's face, he was in total control and he wasn't panicking, he did an awesome job. It could have been a lot of worse, he missed as many people as he could,” said Nesbitt.
The owner of the plane says the aircraft is 15-years-old and hasn’t had prior problems. Oakley says the plane has a new engine and prop and says since last year the pilot had close to 700 hours of flying time.
The plane was towed to McClellan-Palomar Airport where the FAA will take over the investigation.