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Pilot in fiery California crash identified as Utah man

By The Associated Press | Posted - Apr 19th, 2019 @ 4:07pm

FULLERTON, Calif. (AP) — A pilot killed in a fiery plane crash at a Southern California airport has been identified as a 48-year-old Utah man.

The Orange County Sheriff's Department identified the pilot as Robert Kenner Ellis. Though it wasn't immediately clear where in Utah he's from, his flight plan had him landing just outside Salt Lake City in Heber City.

Ellis' twin-engine Beechcraft Duke was taking off from a runway at Fullerton Municipal Airport southeast of Los Angeles when it crashed Thursday night.

Fire officials say the plane was doing only 80 mph (128 kph) and was just 15 feet (4 meters) off the ground when it crashed.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor says the plane rolled to the left and caught fire. Video showed the aircraft burning in a fireball. The wings and tail were incinerated.

The cause is under investigation.

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