Plane Crashes Into Calif. Home

Flames pour from the second floor window of a home struck by a single engine plane in Roseville, Calif., Sunday, Feb. 12, 2006. The crash killed the pilot, according to the Federal Aviation Administration and local police. But there were conflicting reports about whether there were other fatalities or if the home was occupied at the time. (AP Photo/Pete Hugenroth)
AP
A single-engine plane that appeared to have been performing an aerobatic stunt lost control and crashed into a suburban home Sunday, killing at least two people and sparking a fire that gutted the house, police said.

The crash left a gaping, smoldering hole in the two-story house it directly hit and set fire to an adjacent house, damaging the garage and attic, said Roseville Fire Marshall Dennis Mathisen. One body was visible in the wreckage.

Placer County Deputy Coroner T. Sinclair confirmed that two people were on the plane, and a teenage boy who lived in the house was unaccounted for. Neighbors said the boy's family was out of town for the weekend, and it was unclear if he was home at the time.

Sinclair said no one could have survived the crash, but he was unable to confirm any deaths Sunday because the Federal Aviation Administration wasn't allowing officials into the wreckage to retrieve bodies until Monday.

The plane, which the FAA identified as a 1996 Glasair II, appeared to be doing an aerobatic maneuver when it crashed just before 11:30 a.m., Roseville Police spokeswoman Dee Dee Gunther said.

"The pilot appeared to be coming down low for some kind of maneuver that brought him to within 500 feet of the rooftops," she said. "And then he appeared to lose control and crashed into one of the houses."

Rick Wurster, who lives about a half mile from the crash, saw the plane attempting to make a figure eight.

"He couldn't pull up because he didn't have enough altitude," Wurster said. "I saw him do two spins and then go over the tree line. A second later, I heard two booms."

The pilot wasn't communicating with air traffic controllers at the time of the crash, said Bruce Nelson, an operations officer for the FAA in Los Angeles. The plane had taken off from an airport about 10 miles north of the crash site.

The National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash, Nelson said.

Roseville is about 16 miles northeast of Sacramento.