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Thu, Mar 18, 2004

Plane Crashes Into California Home

Two Confirmed Dead Aboard Plane

A Mooney on approach to the Santa Monica Airport (CA) crashed into a home and burst into flames Tuesday. A man and woman aboard the plane were killed, but a man inside the house escaped unharmed. The two occupants aboard the plane were not immediately identified, but the aircraft's owner told authorities the couple lived in Malibu and were in their 60s and 70s. It was unclear if other passengers were aboard, authorities said.

The Mooney, which took off from the Mammoth Lakes area, lost radar contact with a control facility in San Diego as it made its approach to the airport, said FAA spokesman Donn Walker. Soon after, it crashed about 400 to 500 yards from the runway, authorities said. The plane skidded across a nearby rooftop before crashing into a garage and ricocheting into the rear of the home.

A man, woman and child lived in the house. Only the man was at home, in a front room on the first floor, when the plane struck. He walked away uninjured. The fire was extinguished in 20 minutes. A separate blaze in a van outside the garage was quickly put out. A dense cloud covering as low as 200 feet blanketed the area, said Joe Sirard, meteorologist for the National Weather Service.



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