Pilot dies in small plane crash in West L.A.

A Cessna 210 crashed Friday on Aug. 10, 2012 in West Los Angeles. One person on board has been reported killed. CBS Los Angeles

Updated 11:41 PM ET

(CBS/AP) LOS ANGELES - The pilot of a small plane has died after crashing into a West Los Angeles neighborhood two miles northeast of the Santa Monica Airport.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor says the pilot of the single-engine Cessna 210 declared an emergency before the plane crashed Friday evening. Gregor didn't know the cause of the emergency.

He says the pilot was approaching the airport for a landing when the crash occurred.

Los Angeles Fire spokesman Brian Humphrey says the crash lit a palm tree on fire. Television footage from a news helicopter showed the charred wreckage on a street corner and a broken wing on the ground.

A man told CBS2 reporter Carter Evans: "I heard a loud bang. Really loud bang. Louder than a gunshot. Louder than anything I've ever heard in my life."

The FAA and the NTSB will investigate the cause of the crash.

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