Pilot Killed in Norco Plane Crash Identified; Aircraft Was Last of Its Kind

A plane crashed in the prison yard of a facility in Norco on April 22, 2019. (Credit: Sky5)

A plane crashed in the prison yard of a facility in Norco on April 22, 2019. (Credit: Sky5)

Authorities have identified the pilot who died when a last-of-its-kind flying wing aircraft crashed and burned at a Southern California prison.

The Northrop N-9M crashed on Monday in the exercise yard at the California Rehabilitation Center in Norco, east of Los Angeles.

The Riverside County coroner says the pilot was 51-year-old David Vopat of Chino.

He was flying a 1944 aircraft that was restored in the 1990s by the Planes of Fame Air Museum in Chino. Vopat had often flown the craft and was preparing for an air show next month.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

The plane was the last survivor of four models developed by aviation pioneer Jack Northrop. It never went into production but the shape was later used in the B-2 stealth bomber.

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