Two die as small plane crashes in Fresno frontyard

A single-engine Cessna airplane crashed Thursday evening in the frontyard of a Fresno home, killing two people on board including a young boy, authorities said.

Fresno Fire Department spokesman Koby Johns told the Associated Press that the plane hit a tree before crashing, then caught fire. He said the adult male pilot and a boy who was about 9 died in the accident.

No one on the ground was injured. The names of the victims have not been released.

The Fresno Bee reported that the boy was the pilot’s nephew. Johns told the paper that the child’s family was waiting for his return at the airport.


Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration, said the Cessna 172 crashed about 6:30 p.m. roughly 800 feet west of a runway at Fresno Chandler Executive Airport.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident, with NTSB being the lead investigative agency, Gregor said.

He said it usually takes months for the NTSB to determine the cause of a crash.

Chris Castello, 31, who lives near the spot where the plane crashed, told the Bee that he was smoking a cigarette outside when he saw the plane’s nose point up, then down.

“All I heard was the boom, and then all of a sudden, flames,” he said.


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