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Pilot reported engine problem moments before plane crashed into nursery in La Verne

A man aboard a single-engine plane that crashed in a nursery near Brackett Field Airport in La Verne on Sunday reported engine trouble less than a minute before the plane went down.

A man aboard a single-engine plane that crashed in a nursery near Brackett Field Airport in La Verne on Sunday reported engine trouble less than a minute before the plane went down.

“I need to do a 180. I’m having an engine problem,” he said during a call to the airport’s control tower.

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The controller told the man to maintain altitude and go around, which he confirmed. Roughly a minute later, at about 5:50 p.m., the Cessna 177RG crashed into a nursery west of the airport’s runway. Video footage from the scene shows the mangled plane on a gravel path between rows of plants.

Authorities said two people were inside the plane when it crashed. A man died at the scene, and a woman was taken to a hospital in serious condition, La Verne police Lt. Chris Dransfeldt said.

The Federal Aviation Administration told KTLA the pilot was practicing approaches before the crash.

The plane, which was built in 1977, is registered to a man in Los Angeles. The name of the person killed in the crash has not been released.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating.

Times staff writer Alejandra Reyes-Velarde contributed to this report.

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