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Airline service disrupted at South Coast airport after minor accident on main runway

Commercial flight service was briefly disrupted at Santa Barbara Airport Thursday by a minor accident which blocked a runway.

Santa Barbara Airport forced to divert some incoming flights.

It’s been a crazy day for travelers using a South Coast airport. An accident involving a light plane disrupted commercial airline service at Santa Barbara Airport, with some incoming flights diverted to other cities.

A small plane was landing at Santa Barbara Airport just after 11 a.m. Thursday when a wind gust caused its wing to hit the runway. The two people on board were unhurt, but the plane was badly damaged.

The accident happened on the airport’s main runway. Emergency crews couldn’t move the plane until federal investigators gave clearance.

As a result, some commercial flights were diverted or delayed. A United Airlines flight from San Francisco returned to the Bay Area. An American Airlines flight from Dallas was diverted to Los Angeles, and an American flight from Phoenix was diverted to Bakersfield.

The accident also delayed some outgoing flights. The runway reopened at around 12:30 p.m., with air service now reported to be back to normal.