The pilot was well known at nearby Zamperini Field, which he had just taken off from before the crash.
Kayvon Hoveyda, a former flight student of the pilot, said the pilot had extensive experience flying a variety of different types of aircraft. Hoveyda said he last spoke to the pilot about 15 minutes before the crash.The strip mall where the crash occurred is a heavily populated area where several stores are located within an outdoor shopping center. “We didn’t really think about it being a plane,” said April Goebel, another witness. She described the impact as sounding like a car accident. “I never thought that I would come out to see a plane on top of a building so close to us,” she said. Officials with the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board were dispatched to the scene in the hours after. At 4:30 p.m., city officials said all lanes of Crenshaw Boulevard were reopened after some areas were shut down earlier. KTLA’s Jennifer Thang and Lucas DerMugrdechian contributed to this report.