Feb. 5, 2019– Mary Greeley News – Newly released video shows the moment a small plane burst into flames Sunday just before it crashed into a Southern California home, killing the pilot and four people on the ground.
The twin-engine Cessna 414A crashed in Yorba Linda, in Orange County, after taking off from the Fullerton Municipal Airport around 1:45 p.m.
In dashcam video released Monday, the plane is seen already on fire as it falls from the sky towards the residential area. A trail of dark smoke and flames is visible before the aircraft crashes into the house.
The pilot, retired Chicago police officer Antonio Pastini, 75, of Gardnerville, Nevada, was the only person aboard. Authorities were trying to identify the people who died in the house, describing them only as two males and two females. Orange County Sheriff’s Lt. Cory Martino said DNA may be required due to the condition of the bodies.
Investigators spent Monday collecting pieces of the plane that fell into homes across about four blocks in the community southeast of Los Angeles.
“The witnesses I’ve spoken with say that they saw the airplane coming out of the clouds — it was still in one piece — and then they saw the tail breaking off and then the wing breaking off and then something like smoke before the airplane impacted the ground,” Maja Smith, an investigator with the National Transportation Safety Board, said Monday.
NTSB investigator Eliott Simpson said the main cabin of the airplane and one engine were found at the bottom of a ravine in the backyard of a house, and the other engine made a hole in the street. The property where the fuselage ended up is about three houses down from a home that caught fire.
Investigators will look into the maintenance record, the structural integrity of the aircraft and the pilot’s record, Smith said. The wreckage will be transported to Phoenix, Arizona, for forensic examination.