The pilot of a Civil Air Patrol single-engine plane died Thursday when the aircraft crashed and caught fire near Whiteman Airport in Pacoima.
Firefighters were sent to the 10600 block of North Sutter Avenue at 11:44 a.m., according to the Los Angeles Fire Department. The Cessna 172 crashed just short of the runway on the west side of the airport, coming down near three residential buildings.
“Firefighters extinguished the flames engulfing at least two vehicles and the wreckage after (the) small aircraft went down in a residential area,” the LAFD said in a statement. “The fire spread to trees and vegetation in front of a residential home, but firefighters navigated downed power lines and protected the home from sustaining any structural fire damage.”
The pilot, not immediately identified, was the sole occupant of the aircraft, which crashed on final approach to Runway 12. No bystander injuries were reported, according to the LAFD.
The plane was owned by Civil Air Patrol, a nonprofit that assists the U.S. Government with emergency services and disaster relief, CBS2 reported.
In audio obtained by the news station, the pilot is heard saying to an air traffic controller, “Whiteman tower CAP439, we’ve got a loss of engine power here. We’re going to try and stretch it to the runway.”
The tower responds, “Runway’s clear and you are clear to land.”
“Hopefully we’ll make it,” the pilot replied.
Los Angeles Department of Water and Power crews were sent to repair the downed power lines.
The crash will be investigated by the Federal Aviation Administration and National Transportation Safety Board.