2 dead after small WWII plane crashes near Chino airport; ongoing investigation

CHINA, California. (KABC)– Two people aboard a small World War II-era plane were killed Saturday when the plane crashed shortly after leaving Chino Airport, officials said.

A twin-engine Lockheed 12A crashed around 12:35 p.m., the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

The identities of those who died were not immediately released, but according to two friends who spoke with ABC7, one of the victims is Frank Wright, the chief of operations at the Yanks Air Museum. Wright had participated in a panel at the event just before the accident, according to a witness.

No additional people were on board the plane and no one on the ground was injured.

The witness who was at the Father’s Day event said he was taking photos and filming videos when the accident happened.

“There was a shrub or bush in front of me, a big one, maybe about 10 or 12 feet tall, and I had to go around it, and as I went around it, the plane disappeared behind him,” he said. . “But when I went around it, the plane started to bank to the left… very abruptly, and started to descend.”

The witness recalled the moment of impact, saying it “happened right before his eyes.”

“I went nose down and the first part of the plane that hit was the left wing, and that’s where the fuel was, I guess, and what happened was an immediate explosion .”

The cause of the plane crash is clear. The FAA said that agency and the National Transportation Safety Board would investigate the crash.

An NTSB investigator is expected to be on scene Sunday to begin documenting the scene and examining the plane. The aircraft will then be recovered and taken to a secure facility for further evaluation.

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