Pilot killed in small plane crash near Hemet

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An airplane crashed Thursday in a mountainous area east of Hemet, killing the pilot, authorities said.

The twin-engine Piper PA23 went down in southwest Riverside County shortly before 12:30 p.m southeast of Hemet, said Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration.

The pilot was believed to be the only person aboard, Gregor said.

The pilot’s name wasn’t immediately released.

A brush fire broke out at the crash site but was quickly contained, fire officials said.

There was no immediate word on where the plane took off or where it was heading, although the Hemet-Ryan Airport is a few miles from the crash site.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.

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