A small plane crashed near a home just shy of Whiteman Airport in Pacoima late Thursday morning, killing the pilot.
The plane burst into flames upon impact, setting multiple vehicles on fire in the area.
The incident occurred just before noon in the 10600 block of North Sutter Avenue, the Los Angeles Fire Department said, just shy of the airport.
Preliminary information indicates the small aircraft was approaching the runway when it crashed, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane and no other injuries were reported. Authorities have not identified the deceased individual.
The Civil Air Patrol, a U.S. Air Force auxiliary of citizen volunteers, confirmed it was one of their pilots, who had dropped someone off in Bakersfield and was headed back to Los Angeles.
Family requested that the pilot’s name be withheld, the Civil Air Patrol said.
“Our hearts go out to the family of the member involved, and to all of the volunteer Civil Air Patrol members in California Wing who diligently serve their state and country with pride and professionalism,” Col. Ross Veta, commander of the auxiliary’s Californa Wing, said in a statement.
After crashing, the plane burst into flames, which spread to two vehicles and the front yard of a home, according to LAFD Capt. Erik Scott.
“Firefighters saved that home, so it did not actually get any fire inside that home,” Scott said.
A third vehicle was damaged by the blaze, which was quickly extinguished by fire crews.
The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power shut off power in the area because of electrical hazards.
Some power lines were downed at the crash site. A witness who heard what he initially described as a car crash ran out of his home and said he found the plane caught in those lines.
“It was stuck on the wire. So, once that wire right there was hanging with the plane, it just blew up,” Jose Vasquez told reporters at the scene.
In an air traffic control audio recording obtained by KTLA, the pilot can be heard saying the plane had a loss of engine power and would attempt to stretch it to the runway. He was then cleared for landing.
The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate and determine the cause of the crash.