SANTA MARIA (CBSLA) – A pilot is dead after a single-engine plane crashed on the grounds of an elementary school in Santa Maria Wednesday morning in northern Santa Barbara County, bursting into flames.
The plane crashed at Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in the community of Orcutt at around 10:45 a.m., according to the Santa Maria Fire Department Department.
The pilot, identified as 38-year-old Tigran Garabedyan from Burbank, died at the scene.
Photos and video showed smoke and flames billowing into the air. The plane appeared to have crashed on a basketball court. It’s unclear if any buildings were damaged.
No one on the ground was hurt. There was no word regarding whether anyone was at the school at the time, since school campuses across the state are not holding in-person classes due to the coronavirus pandemic.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson told CBS2 by email that the single-engine Cirrus SR20 had departed Van Nuys Airport that morning and was headed to Santa Maria Airport, which is about four miles from the school.
The pilot is believed to be the only person aboard.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate what caused the crash.