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Pilot who died in Riverside plane crash was from Orange County

Pilot who died in Riverside plane crash was from Orange County
Melvyn Caffey, 79, of Orange County was the only occupant of the twin-engine aircraft that crashed in the backyard of a home in in Riverside County on Saturday morning. (Los Angeles Times)

Coroner’s officials have identified the pilot of a plane that crashed over the weekend in a Riverside neighborhood as an Orange County man.

Melvyn Caffey, 79, of Costa Mesa was the only occupant of the twin-engine Beechcraft BE50 that crashed into the backyard of a home in the 10500 block of Robinson Avenue on Saturday morning. He was on his way from Chino to Apple Valley and reported engine trouble to a local airport tower shortly before the crash.

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Caffey died at the scene, according to the Riverside County coroner’s office.

Riverside police spokesman Ryan Railsback said there were four people inside the home when the plane crashed about 11:50 a.m. None of them was injured. There was minor damage to a tree, the home’s patio and a fence, Riverside city fire Capt. Brian Guzzetta said.

“It was very fortunate for the homeowners in this area,” he said in a news conference over the weekend. “When you think of an aircraft going down, you think of it maybe taking out several homes. Where the aircraft came to rest was somewhat of a small area.”

The plane likely went down nose first, very quickly after Caffey’s report to the Riverside Municipal Airport, which is about 2½ miles from the crash site, Railsback said.

The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the incident.

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