Pilot dies after plane crashes into chicken coop

Posted at 6:16 AM, Aug 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-04 06:16:10-04

RIO LINDA, CA (KCRA/CNN) - A small plane crashed in California Thursday, killing the pilot.

The plane landed in a chicken coup, thrown into a backyard after flying into power lines.

Debbie Becknell lives next door and watched in horror before rushing in.

"Everybody tore down the fence and we went through and there was no flame or even a gas smell. We went over there and he was just lying there dead I guess," Becknell said.

The people inside a nearby house were uninjured.

"They heard the crash. In fact, I believe they were probably the callers, but nobody was injured inside," Sgt. Tony Turnbull of the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department said.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the plane was a four-seater experimental Lancair IV-P built from a kit.

It crashed in the afternoon, two blocks North of McClellan Airfield.

"I had a feeling one day something like that was going to happen. Just because I live right here and the plane always comes right over top of me," neighbor San Saelee said.

With the wires down, 42 neighbors initially lost power.

Jessica Reed's children were staying next door when she received a call at work about the accident.

"If it would have been another 300 feet, it would have hit the house, and that's just really close to home you know," Reed said.

From Becknell's vantage point it appeared the pilot was attempting an emergency landing on the street outside the crash site.

"If it hadn't been for the telephone lines, I think he would have made it," Becknell said.

The plane leaked some fuel but didn't catch fire.

Officials said it's registered out of Henderson, Nevada.

The pilot, who was the only person on board, has not been named.

The FAA and NTSB are investigating.

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