Plane Crashes Into Nev. House, Killing 3

Las Vegas House Fire
CBS
An experimental aircraft crashed into a house shortly after takeoff Friday, killing the pilot and two people inside the home, authorities said.

The pilot of the home-built plane radioed that he was in trouble shortly after taking off from the North Las Vegas Airport, said Ian Gregor, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Hawthorne, Calif.

"He said he was unable to gain altitude and was going down," Gregor said.

Firefighters quickly doused an intense fire in the single-family home in a neighborhood southeast of a main runway at the airport.

The pilot and one resident of the house died in the 6:28 a.m. crash, and another person in the house died after being taken to University Medical Center in Las Vegas, said a deputy fire chief, Kevin Brame.

The names of the dead were not immediately released.

Gregor characterized the rear-propeller Velocity 173 RG aircraft as "experimental," and said it can be built from a kit. FAA records showed the aircraft was certified for flight in 2002, he said, and was owned by a Las Vegas resident. The name of the owner was not released.

FAA inspectors are enroute to the scene, reports CBS affiliate KLAS-TV. They will be investigating the accident along with the NTSB.

North Las Vegas Airport is the second-busiest airport in Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, according to the airport's Web site. It's a busy hub for small planes and jets, and serves as a base for sightseeing flights to the Grand Canyon and other attractions.