While National Transportation Safety Board investigators scour over the crash site and wreckage of the Velocity XLR-G5, family members of those on board are trying to come to grips with the tragedy, reports CBS affiliate KFMB.
"My wife answered the phone," said Earl Orner, father of the Lori Crane who died in the crash. "She got the news first and I heard her scream."
Earl Orner told KFMB his son-in-law Gregory Crane remains in a coma, and their three children, 11-year-old Summer, 10-year-old Tia and 8-year-old Austin remain in critical condition following the crash, which occurred shortly after takeoff from Montgomery Field Monday afternoon.
No one was injured on the ground.
The three children were taken to Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego, said San Diego Fire-Rescue Department spokesman Maurice Luque.
The pilot took off from San Diego's Montgomery Field and radioed that he had an open door and was going to try to return, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration. The plane was headed for Fullerton Municipal Airport.
The plane crashed around 12:45 p.m. near the 11th hole of the Admiral Baker Golf Course in the city's Tierrasanta area.
"We saw it start to get lower and lower as it flew over, like they were trying to find a place to land it," said Tyler Monroe, assistant manager of the pro shop. "It hit the power lines."
About a dozen golfers were within about 200 yards of the crash, Monroe said, and about 100 people were on the course.
The experimental aircraft was built in 2007 and is registered to Crane of Mesa, Ariz., according to the FAA.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash.