(UPDATE) 4:13 p.m. -RED BLUFF, Calif. (AP) — A pilot is dead after a small plane crashed and caught fire following takeoff from Red Bluff Municipal Airport.
The Chico Enterprise-Record reports the light-sport aircraft went up 50 to 75 feet before plunging to the ground around 9:50 a.m. Monday.
National Transportation Safety Board spokesman Peter Knudson said the airport was closed pending an investigation.
FAA records show the aircraft was registered to a new owner on July 12 from the Butte County community of Durham.
The operator of Red Bluff airport said the owner was scheduled to fly the plane to Chico Municipal Airport, where he acquired hangar space.
UPDATE- 1:39 P.M.- Officials at the scene have remained tight lipped in revealing details of the crash of an ultra-light airplane at the Red Bluff airport this morning. We have learned the pilot was killed when for unknown reasons his plane crashed upon take-off. The identity of the pilot has not been released, but airport officials indicate the pilot did have extensive flying experience. The cause of the crash is still under investigation.
We have received confirmation from Tehama County Cal Fire that an ultra-light airplane crashed at the Red Bluff Airport at 9:51 a.m. We have also confirmed the crash has resulted in a fatality. Investigators are still at the scene determining the cause of the crash. We are working on confirming further details and will bring you the latest as it comes in.