NTSB investigates cause of deadly plane crash in Kearny Mesa - San Diego, California News Station - KFMB Channel 8 - cbs8.com

NTSB investigates cause of deadly plane crash in Kearny Mesa

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Federal investigators Thursday are investigating a plane crash in a Kearny Mesa parking lot that killed a passenger and seriously injured the pilot.

A female pilot, identified as 52-year-old Devon Logan from San Diego, and two rescuers are in the hospital after the plane -- identified as a Mooney M20 -- crashed Wednesday around 5:30 p.m. in the parking lot of a Costco near Montgomery Field, where it was attempting to land. Logan's passenger, her 78-year-old mother Joy Gorian, died in the crash.

Gorian's husband Joe Combs told CBS News 8 in an exclusive interview he's trying to cope with her death.

"I'll remember what a wonderful wife she was, and how... difficult it's going to be for me to live my life without her," he said.

Combs, Logan's stepfather, also told CBS News 8 Logan suffered broken bones and required plastic surgery to her face.

During a news conference Thursday, NTSB spokesman Tom Little called the actions of the witnesses who helped pull the women from the wreckage "heroic."

The NTSB is working with San Diego FAA officials to find the cause of the crash. A private recovery team is expected to have the wreckage cleared from the parking lot sometime Thursday afternoon. Little said the wreckage would be loaded onto a trailer and should arrive in Phoenix sometime Friday.

The crash happened moments after Logan called in from Mt. Soledad and was cleared to land at Montgomery Field. It appeared the aircraft struck the top of a nearby Target store and hit a light pole before crashing.

Aviation safety expert Rich Martindell says the FAA and NTSB will start their investigation from scratch.

"The first thing you're going to look at is the engine itself to see if it was operating properly. The next thing is the fuel system. You need three things -- fuel, engine and air," Martindell said.

The timeline leading up to the crash could be released by officials within a month, and an official cause could take six to eight months.

The plane is registered to William F. Logan, a retired real estate investor.

Two rescue workers suffered burns, but are expected to recover.

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