A small Cessna airplane was forced to make an emergency landing on the north side of the Seal Beach pier, in front of a row of Gold Coast homes on Tuesday afternoon, Jan. 3. According to Seal Beach Police Lt. Nick Nicholas, the Cessna made an emergency landing with two people aboard, but no one in the plane or on the ground was injured.
Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey added that the Cessna experienced engine failure. Two people were aboard.
District One Councilman/Mayor Joe Kalmick advised that as of 1:54 p.m., the plane was still on the beach. At the time, city officials were awaiting FAA permission to take the plane off the beach. As of 2:46 p.m., Marine Safety Chief Joe Bailey said the plane had been moved to the parking lot and would probably be removed Wednesday.
The landing drew a predictable number of appreciative comments on social media, with some remembering the days when Seal Beach had an airport where the Navy Weapons Station is now. But perhaps appropriately, the Cessna actually landed on the site of Seal Beach’s first airport, on the beaches where three tent hangars onced housed the barnstorming pilots, including Long Beach’s Earl Daugherty and the ill-fated Joe Boquel, who entertained the Joy Zone attendees in 1916. These and other pilots used the north beach as a runway, beginning their run near First Street and then barely clearing the pier on their takeoff as they “defied death” three times a day.