The lost of power might have caused the crash of a twin-engine airplane which smashed into three homes in Compton, Los Angeles, federal investigators said Monday.
The pilot was approaching Compton Airport, then struck one house and catapulted into another on Saturday. Two people in the plane and two on the ground were badly injured, and a fifth victim reported feeling ill after the crash. All were expected to survive.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) said a final report about the cause was not expected until the end of the year. Wayne Pollock ofthe NTSB told reporters it was too early to determine if there was any pilot error involved.
"We will not address any statement, any question, related to causal issues," Pollock said. "We are in the fact-finding phase. As you well know, I have not even looked at the aircraft up close yet, so we don't know all the facts. Once that is in, then we will compile a report, a factual report, and that will be presented to the National Transportation Safety Board headquarters in Washington, D.C., and they will make a probable-cause determination."
Pollock described the pilot as "a commercially rated instrument pilot" who had taken a pleasure trip from Hawthorne Airport to SanDiego Montgomery Field and then was returning to Compton. Pollack did not identify him or the passengers.
He said that the plane was in "what we called uncontrolled flight" at the time of impact.