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Small plane crashes into home near Monterey airport, setting hillside ablaze

A house smolders atop a hill in Monterey County.
A house smolders atop a hill Tuesday in Monterra Ranch, near Highway 68, after a plane crashed into the home.
(Monterey County Regional Fire District)

A small plane crashed Tuesday morning into a home near Monterey Regional Airport, authorities said.

The Monterey County Regional Fire District received calls at 11 a.m. about a plane crashing into a residence near the 7000 block of Monterra Ranch Road, by California 68 in Monterey, said Dorothy Priolo, the fire department’s spokeswoman. The house caught fire, and the blaze spread to dense brush nearby.

Monterey and Seaside fire departments, as well as the Monterey County agency, responded to the brush fire, which spread down the canyon. A photo posted on Twitter by the Monterey County Regional Fire District shows the blackened home engulfed in smoke, with the charred hillside beyond.

The plane, identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a twin-engine Cessna 421, took off from the Monterey Regional Airport around 10:40 a.m., said Donnell Evans, an FAA spokesperson.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, which was not immediately clear, officials said. Witnesses told the Monterey County Weekly that the plane was flying low before it smashed into the living room of the house.

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Homeowners Roger and Julie Goulart told the newspaper that the residence is a vacation home, and that their 20-year-old daughter occasionally stayed at the house but was not inside at the time of the crash.

The pilot was the only person on board, according to the Monterey Herald, and no one was inside the house at the time of the crash. The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office confirmed the pilot was killed.


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