A man was killed when his small plane crashed into a hillside near Santa Clarita early Saturday, an accident that was possibly weather-related, officials said.
The pilot was Alan Schumow, 44, of Santa Clarita, said Thomas Schwabe, a spokesman for the Los Angeles County coroner's office. There were no other people aboard the aircraft.
The Piper Cherokee crashed about 1:55 a.m., said Lt. Larry Gump of the Santa Clarita sheriff's station. The Van Nuys Airport notified the station that the plane may have crashed in that area, officials said.
A Santa Clarita sheriff's search and rescue team found the single-engine plane in the Elsmere Canyon area, about a mile southeast of San Fernando Road and the Antelope Valley Freeway, at 8:20 a.m., Gump said.
The team flew in a helicopter to the rugged crash area, then hiked to the plane and body. The aircraft, which seats up to four people, was destroyed, authorities said.
Schumow was traveling from Lake Havasu, Ariz., to the Van Nuys Airport, authorities said. Schumow did not own the plane, and investigators believe he may have rented it.
Before the crash, foggy and rainy weather prevented him from visually flying and landing the plane, forcing him to depend on its instruments, Gump said.
The cause of the accident was being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Sheriff's Aero Bureau.