plane crash

Pilot Killed When Single-Engine Plane Crashes at School in Santa Maria Area

The Cirrus SR20 left Van Nuys Airport Wednesday bound for Santa Maria when it went down in a neighborhood near the airport.

NBCUniversal

A pilot was killed Wednesday when a single-engine plane that took off from Van Nuys Airport crashed in a Santa Maria area neighborhood.

A resident’s security camera captured the crash and resulting plume of black smoke in the 1200 block of Oak Knoll Road. The pilot, the only person onboard, died at the scene, according to the Santa Barbara County Fire Department. 

The plane went down at an elementary school playground in the community about 145 miles northwest of Van Nuys, according to the fire department. Images from the scene showed a parachute strewn over tables and the plane's burned wreckage near a basketball court.

Firefighters extinguished the fire. No other casualties were reported.

The plane, identified by the FAA as a Cirrus SR20, had departed from Van Nuys Airport and was headed for Santa Maria. The school is near the airport, the FAA said.

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