CONCORD, Calif. — A small plane failed to gain altitude after takeoff Monday and crashed in flames a mile away between a hotel and an office complex, killing both people aboard, police said.
The Cessna 182 Skyline was registered to a Santa Ana man but the identities of the pilot and the passenger were not immediately released.
"Witnesses said it never really gained altitude," Inspector Richard Carpenter of the Consolidated Fire District said. "It hit the ground, flipped and caught fire."
The plane took off from Buchanan Field at 11:21 a.m. and crashed on Orion Road near Burnett Avenue and Galaxy Way.
"All I saw was black smoke and flames," said Yvonne Wilbraham, who works in the nearby Galaxy Building. "People in our office heard a loud noise, looked up and saw a plane. It's scary. The airport's right in our back yard."
In December, 1985, a small plane coming in for a landing at Buchanan Field crashed into the roof of nearby Sun Valley Mall, killing seven Christmas shoppers.