The present study is concerned with possible mechanisms of air entrainment in a thin liquid layer caused by oblique impact of a deformable body on the layer. The two-dimensional unsteady problem of oblique elastic plate impact is considered within the thin-layer approximation for the first time. The plate deflection is described by the Euler beam equation. The plate edges are free of stresses and shear forces. The plate deflections are comparable with the liquid layer thickness. It is revealed in this paper that, for a stiff plate, the initial impact by the trailing edge makes the plate rotate with the leading plate edge entering water before the wetted part of the plate arrives at this edge. The air cavity trapped in such cases can be as long as 40% of the plate length. For a flexible plate, the impact does not cause the plate rotation. However, the dry part of the plate in front of the advancing wetted region is deflected toward the liquid layer also trapping the air. The numerical results are presented for elastic and rigid motions of the plate, hydrodynamic pressure in the wetted part of the plate, position of this wetted part, and the flow beneath the plate.