(Reuters) – All six people aboard a small plane died when the plane crashed and burned in a field near an airport near Los Angeles on Saturday, local and federal authorities said.
The plane, a Cessna C550 business jet, was traveling from Las Vegas and crashed near French Valley Airport in Riverside County, about 137 miles south of Los Angeles, at around 4:15 a.m. the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement. .
The deceased passengers and pilot were all adults, Elliott Simpson, an aviation investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, told a news conference.
The private plane crashed 500 feet from the runway at the small airport, after attempting an instrument landing as a marine layer weather phenomenon took hold in the area, Simpson said.
Conditions appeared to have met minimum standards for an airport landing, he said.
A few days earlier, on July 4, a small plane with four occupants crashed near the same airport, killing the adult pilot and injuring three minors, authorities said.
In Saturday’s incident, fire engulfed all but the tail of the plane after it crashed, Simpson said.
Aerial video from local media showed burnt-out rubble in the shape of a small plane in a blacked-out part of a field opposite the airfield.
Radar data from flight-tracking website FlightAware shows only one business jet was traveling from Las Vegas to French Valley at a time. This aircraft circled close to the field once before descending.
The Riverside County Sheriff’s Office, where French Valley Airport is located, said officials responding to the crash located a plane fully engulfed in flames in a field and six occupants were declared died at the scene.
The National Transportation Safety Board will continue to investigate the crash, with more results expected within the next two weeks, Simpson said. He did not reveal the names of the deceased.
(This story has been corrected to state 500 feet, not 300 feet, in paragraph 4)