Small plane crashes into California home backyard, pilot dies

Small plane crashes into California home backyard, pilot dies

A small single-engine plane crashed into the backyard of house in Southern California and caught fire on Sunday, leaving the pilot dead, officials confirmed.

The Beechcraft BE35 plane tumbled at around 5 p.m. roughly half a mile east of Riverside Municipal Airport. The pilot of the plane, who was the only person on board, was pronounced dead at the scene.

The pilot initially attempted to make an emergency landing but failed. Prior to the crash, he sent a radio message to the airport informing that he had lost engine power. Later he said he didn't think he would be able to make a landing.

The house where the crash occurred is occupied Richard and Doris Godfrey. They have been living in the house for more than 55 years. Keith Burke, the couple's son-in-law, the backyard got engulfed in flames when the plane crashed.

Sharing the incident, Burke said, "They were just sitting down to have dinner. There was a crash, and the backyard was engulfed in flames - lots and lots of smoke."

City fire Capt. Tim Odebralski confirmed the death of the pilot, and said no one of the ground was injured. The pilot wasn't immediately identified.

The crash is under investigation by a team of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).