- Associated Press - Wednesday, May 20, 2020

ORCUTT, Calif. (AP) - The pilot was killed when a small plane crashed and burst into flames Wednesday morning on the grounds of a school in Southern California, authorities said.

The single-engine Cirrus SR20 landed upside down on a basketball court outside Ralph Dunlap Elementary in Orcutt, said Santa Barbara County Fire Department spokesman Mike Eliason.

The school was closed at the time and nobody on the ground was hurt, Eliason said. The pilot, the plane’s only occupant, died at the scene, he said.

Photos from the crash site showed the plane’s front end completely demolished.

The aircraft had departed from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles and was headed for Santa Maria Airport, about 4 miles (6.5 kilometers) northwest of the elementary school, according to Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.

Nearby residents reported hearing a loud boom around the time the plane went down, KEYT-TV reported. Large plumes of smoke from the crash site could be seen for miles around, according to the news station.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash about 165 miles (265.54 kilometers) northwest of downtown Los Angeles, Gregor said.

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