PACOIMA (CBSLA) — Neighbors are continuing to share safety concerns about a Pacoima airport after a volunteer pilot was killed in a fiery crash on Friday.
The Cessna plane went down after the pilot reported engine problems around noon while he was returning from an undisclosed mission near Bakersfield.
His plane fell short of the runway outside Whiteman Airport in Pacoima, clipping powerlines, and came crashing down onto cars and a front yard.
The pilot was the only person on board and died at the scene. No injuries from the ground were reported.
The accident has prompted the response of city councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, who along with neighbors is calling for the airport to close, saying the tragic accident is a reminder of the public safety threat to this community.
“I’m calling for the closure and redevelopment of the Whiteman Airport to bring much-needed housing, jobs, and economic opportunities to the region,” Rodriguez said.
Details about the pilot’s mission have not yet been released, but pilots who do similar work have been involved in missions that help map out fires and feed the hungry, among other initiatives.
Whiteman airport officials say the pilot was not local to this area, but was working with one of the two squadron based at the airport.
The National Transportation and Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are continuing to investigate the crash.
A preliminary report is expected to be released within the next two weeks, the NTSB said.
Family members have requested the civil patrol pilot’s name to be withheld.