NTSB Investigating Fatal Plane Crash Near MCAS Miramar - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

NTSB Investigating Fatal Plane Crash Near MCAS Miramar

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NTSB officials said an investigation began Sunday into the crash of a small airplane at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar that killed the pilot and passenger.

The Piper Comanche was crossing the Miramar landing pattern with an

instrument clearance when it dropped off controller's radar screens around 11 a.m. Saturday, chief investigator Wayne Pollack of the National Transportation Safety Board said.

The plane, which had taken off from Whiteman Airport just north of Los  Angeles, was en route to Brown Field Municipal Airport near the international border.

The name of the pilot and the lone passenger were unavailable. The plane is registered to a Burbank resident.

Under federal regulations, instrument clearance normally means air traffic controllers had given permission for the plane to be in military airspace, but the NTSB official said all aspects of the flight were being examined.

Pollack said the pilot did not make a distress call. Investigators will examine radio communications between controllers and the pilot next week.

"There is evidence of a post-impact fire," Pollack said. "Not all the components of the aircraft were consumed."

He said some unburned parts of the plane were discovered away from the impact crater. Most of what remained in the crater did go up in flames, he said.

Investigators will examine the wreckage thoroughly before deciding how to clear it away early this week, according to Pollack.

On Dec. 8, four people on the ground were killed when an F/A-18 Hornet with crippled engines crashed in a University City neighborhood west of the base.

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