Authorities have identified a San Marino man who died Friday in a small airplane crash at the San Gabriel Valley Airport in El Monte.
Jeffrey Ying, 63, died in the crash, Los Angeles County Department of Medical Examiner-Coroner Investigator Joyce Kato said.
He was the pilot and sole occupant of a single-engine, home-built 1979 Pazmany PL-2 airplane when it went down about 9:30 a.m. at the south end of the airport, 4233 Santa Anita Ave., according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
Witnesses reported seeing the airplane take off and seemingly experience engine trouble before suddenly making a left turn and falling from the sky, National Transportations Safety Board Air Safety Inspector Patrick Jones said. It appeared the pilot was attempting to return to the runway.
The airplane slammed into the ground, sustaining major damage to its nose and left wing, officials said. Paramedics pronounced Ying dead at the scene.
Ying was reportedly an experienced pilot.
The aircraft was registered to an Azusa-based company called Progenitech and had a valid flight status through 2020, FAA records show.
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