Two men were injured, one of them seriously, when their single-engine airplane lost power and crashed Saturday shortly after takeoff from Agua Dulce Airpark.
Pilot Gerald Krumm, 34, of La Mirada, and his passenger, Richard C. Aragon, 40, of Downey were airlifted by sheriff's helicopter to Henry Mayo Newhall Memorial Hospital in Santa Clarita, both with head injuries suffered in the 2 p.m. crash, the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
The plane, a Piper PA-28, lost power about 1 1/2 miles south of the small airport in the eastern Santa Clarita Valley community of Agua Dulce, Sgt. Kraig Petersen said.
"The pilot tried to turn around and go back to the airport, but he crashed into a hillside," Petersen said.
The plane flew over several homes in the rural area before it crashed near Darling and Pewter roads.
A witness, Jay Gardner, 13, said he was helping clean his father's boat when he saw that the plane was in trouble.
"It lost altitude and made a sweeping turn and slammed into the hillside," he said. "I ran and told my mom to call 911. I was really worried about those two guys."
Jay said he and his brother, Evan, 11, rode their bicycles to the scene of the crash. "It's not the kind of thing I like to see," he said. "I'm a glider pilot myself."
Petersen said Aragon, the passenger, was seriously injured. A spokeswoman for the hospital said the two victims asked that no information about their condition be released.