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Small plane crashes in West L.A.; pilot killed

The aircraft plunges into a residential neighborhood shortly after the pilot reported an emergency. No one on the ground is hurt.

August 11, 2012|By Paloma Esquivel and Andrew Blankstein, Los Angeles Times
  • Emergency crews respond to the scene in West L.A. on Friday after a small aircraft crashed near Olympic and Westwood boulevards.
Emergency crews respond to the scene in West L.A. on Friday after a small… (Anne Cusack / Los Angeles…)

One person was killed Friday evening when a small plane crashed into a residential neighborhood in West Los Angeles, fire officials said.

The pilot of the single-engine Cessna 210 was returning to Santa Monica Airport and declared an emergency shortly before crashing about 6 p.m., said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

The plane came down near the intersection of Westwood and Olympic boulevards. It did not hit any buildings despite crashing in a community dense with homes.

Samantha Schoenberg, 20, said she was driving home on Santa Monica Boulevard when she saw a plane flying low and nearly on its side.

"I was thinking, 'That plane is definitely going to crash,' " she said. "It disappeared behind a building … and there was a huge cloud of black smoke."

A fire sparked by the crash was quickly extinguished, fire officials said. The name of the pilot has not been released. No other injuries were reported.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

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