On March 10, 1933, Special Officer Porter was called upon by Police Chief Webb to fly to Long Beach to provide assistance to those recovering from a major and devastating earthquake. He was to also check the well-being of Santa Monica residents who were working at the Puget Sound Bridge & Dredging Co., which was supplying rock for the breakwater in Santa Monica. He took off in foggy conditions. Witnesses saw his plane close to the ground; it rose and upon coming down knocked its landing gear off. The plane cart-wheeled and burst into flames.