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Pilot Of Deadly Crash In Yorba Linda Warned Of Bad Weather Before Takeoff

SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – The 75-year-old pilot of a small plane that crashed into a Yorba Linda home on Feb. 3, killing him and four people in the house, was cautioned before takeoff by an air traffic controller at Fullerton Airport of "deteriorating weather," according to a preliminary report from the National Transportation Safety Board.

Antonio Pastini, who was flying solo, was headed for Minden-Tahoe Airport in Minden, Nevada, in his 1981 twin-engine Cessna 414A that afternoon.

"During the takeoff clearance, the (Fullerton) tower air traffic controller cautioned the pilot regarding deteriorating weather about four miles east" of the airport, according to the agency's preliminary report. "Radar data showed that 5 1/2 minutes after takeoff, the airplane had climbed to an altitude of about 7,800 feet above ground level before it started a rapid descending right turn and subsequently impacted the ground."

RELATED: Plane Broke Apart, Exploded In Midair Before Slamming Into Yorba Linda Home, Killing 5

The agency reported "precipitation, microburst and rain showers over the accident area" at the time of the plane's breakup about 1:45 p.m.

The plane took off at 1:39 p.m. and no flight plan was filed.

Witnesses reported seeing the Cessna "exit the clouds at a high rate of descent before parts of the airplane started to break off," according to the NTSB.

The report says one of the witnesses told authorities that he "observed an aircraft emerge from the overcast layer on a northwesterly heading with a nose down pitch of approximately 60 degrees, pointed directly at my location with no discernable movement."

RELATED: Pilot In Deadly Yorba Linda Crash Reportedly Had Blemished Flying Record

"It remained in that altitude for approximately four to five seconds before initiating a high-speed dive recovery. Approaching the bottom of the recovery the aircraft began to roll to its right. As it did, the left horizontal stabilizer departed the aircraft, immediately followed by the remainder of the empennage. The left wing then appeared to shear off just outside the number one (left) engine igniting the left wing. After which, the aircraft disappeared behind the hill to the northeast of the observed location, trailing flames behind it. The sound of an explosion and large plume of black smoke immediately followed."

The Cessna's debris scattered throughout the Yorba Linda neighborhood.

RELATED: Daughter Of Pilot Grieves For Her Father, Plus 4 Killed In Yorba Linda Crash

In the house, authorities recovered parts of the outboard right wing containing the fuel tank, the NTSB reported. Authorities recovered the fuselage with the right inboard wing attached and a left propeller and left engine about 310 feet downhill from the torched house in the 19000 block of Crestknoll Drive.

The people who died in the home, where they had gathered to watch the Super Bowl, were identified as 85-year-old Roy Lee Anderson and his wife 68-year-old Dahlia Marlies Leber Anderson, her daughter-in law 48-year-old Stacie Norene Leber and Anderson's son-in-law Donald Paul Elliott.

People gathered by the hundreds earlier this month to honor the family killed inside the home.

"Now the whole nation is gonna know what an amazing family this family was. How generous and what beautiful people they were, and the beautiful hearts they had, and we're all blessed by God above to have every single of one them in our lives," one mourner said.

Neighbors showed up to bring light to the darkest loss their neighborhood has ever experienced.

"The world lost some very good people. But they're celebrating heaven right now," friend Patty Crozier said.

RELATED: 'The World Lost Some Very Good People': Yorba Linda Plane Crash Victims Remembered

Pastino, who lived in Gardnerville, Nevada, had twice been disciplined by authorities for unsafe flying, according to the Los Angeles Times, which reported that the Federal Aviation Administration suspended his license in 1977 and 1980.

The first suspension – for 120 days – came after he flew in cloudy, icy conditions from Las Vegas to Long Beach and lied about his credentials. The second – for 30 days – was because his plane was not up-to-date on inspections, had an expired temporary registration and was leaking brake fluid, according to the newspaper, which cited records kept by the Library of Congress.

Pastini put in name changes with the FAA – from Jordan Albert Isaacson to Jordan Ike Aaron in 1991 and in 2008 to Antonio Peter Pastini, according to an FAA spokesman.

Contrary to initial reports, officials said Pastini was not a Chicago police officer.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)


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