A Marina Del Rey man taking his first flight in an ultra-light plane he had just purchased was killed Tuesday when the craft crashed at Camarillo Airport, authorities said.
The 36-year-old pilot, whose name was not released pending notification of relatives, was killed at 1 p.m. while making a series of touch-and-go practice landings as his flying instructor watched from the ground.
"He was going through those exercises and then started making a left turn and the plane spiraled to the ground. We don't know what caused it to happen," said Elly Brekke, a spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Administration.
The FAA is informally investigating the accident. The agency normally investigates only aircraft crashes, and ultra-light planes are considered recreational craft rather than aircraft. Ultra-lights carry only a pilot, weigh less than 250 pounds and go under 50 m.p.h.
The plane was flying at 200 feet over a part of the airport restricted to ultra-light planes, then dropped into a field, killing the pilot on impact, officials said.
The flight instructor told investigators that the victim had been taking ultra-light flying lessons for two weeks and had one hour of flying time. The man had bought the craft from a pilot at the airport.