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Pilot Dies After Crashing In Backyard Near McClellan Airfield

Bob Moffit / Capital Public Radio

Sacramento Sheriff's Department, Metropolitan Fire District and a chaplain were on the scene after a small plane crash near McClellan Airfield.

Bob Moffit / Capital Public Radio

A plane crash in a Sacramento County neighborhood has left the pilot dead and a lot of questions about what caused the crash.

The plane was a single-engine, home-built Lancair IV-P, according to Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, and crashed a little after 3 in the afternoon in the yard of a home at the corner of 28th and U Streets in Rio Linda..

Valentina Ponce and Maria Nunez live two blocks away. They say low-flying aircraft are a part of living near McClellan Airfield.

"There's a lot of airplanes that goes through here. About every morning, there's one or two at least. You can hear the noise of the airplanes flying very low."

Sacramento Sheriff's Sergeant Tony Turnbull says it hit a power pole before it crashed.

"The structure was not hit at all," Turnbull says. "There were some occupants inside the house. When they went up to the plane they located the pilot who was the sole occupant of the plane who was unresponsive. They immediately began life-saving measures on the pilot as well as Sac Metro Fire who responded to the scene."

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

(AP) - Authorities say the pilot of a small plane died after crashing in a backyard near Sacramento.

The crash occurred Thursday near McClellan Airfield, a former U.S. Air Force base about 10 miles northeast of downtown Sacramento.

Capt. Chris Vestal of the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District says the pilot was the only person on board. He says the plane crashed near chicken coops roughly 100 feet from a home and took down several power lines.

Aerial images showed the plane on its belly in an overgrown yard with its tail wedged under a structure. The home is directly under the approach path for the runway at McClellan.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the aircraft crashed under "unknown circumstances." He says the plane is a homebuilt Lancair IV-P.

Bob Moffitt

Sacramento Region Reporter

Bob reports on all things northern California and Nevada. His coverage of police technology, local athletes, and the environment has won a regional Associated Press and several Edward R. Murrow awards.   Read Full Bio 

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