Police Identify Man Killed in Redding Plane Crash

One is dead after a small plane crashed near the Benton Airpark in Redding on August 29.

Posted: Aug 29, 2018 12:01 PM
Updated: Aug 31, 2018 10:16 AM

UPDATE 10:30 a.m. Thursday, August 30, 2018 - The pilot of the plane was identified as Richard Joseph Engel, 71, of Shingletown.

Engel suffered major injuries as a result of the plane crash and was pronounced dead at the scne. 


UPDATE: A man and his dog are dead after their small plane crash-landed near Redding's Benton Airpark Wednesday afternoon

REDDING, Calif. - A man and his dog are dead after their small plane crash-landed near Redding's Benton Airpark Wednesday afternoon.

Police got a call from nearby residents who witnessed the crash at 11:18 am.

The manager of the airpark says the aircraft pulled up at takeoff then arched to the left before landing in the ravine at the north end of the airpark across from Placer Street.

The man was pronounced dead on the scene.

He and his dog were the sole passengers on the plane.

Redding resident Nate Pritchard lives just feet away from where the plane landed.

He says he was getting ready for his day when he heard a sound he'd never heard before.

“My first thought was it sounded like a dishwasher or something fell off the back of a truck,” Pritchard said.

So he rushed outside to check it out.

“Then I heard neighbors yelling and running outside,” he said. “So I ran around and find about a hundred feet from the house the plane had crashed.”

Pritchard and his neighbors quickly rallied together to make sure there was no immediate danger.

That’s when they saw the pilot and his companion.

“There was a guy inside who looked pretty much non-responsive,” Pritchard said. “And it was clear there wasn't much we could do to help that way. There was also a dog that was pretty non-responsive as well.”

The identity of the pilot is being withheld at this time pending notification of family members.

However, the manager of the airpark says the aircraft was local and was based at the airfield.

Pritchard says he's lucky he and nobody else in the home were in the backyard at the time the crash happened.

“Yeah, yeah we can be down there,” he said. “But honestly, God was protecting this property for sure.”

And while it was alarming how close the plane came to his home, he says he still feels safe living close to the airpark.

“There's no fear of that,” Pritchard said. “And there will be no fear of that moving forward.”

The investigation into why the plane crashed is being handled by the National Transportation Safety Board.

REDDING, Calif. - Officials say one is dead after a small plane crashed into a family's backyard at Placer Street and Highland Avenue, near the Benton Airpark in Redding.  

Bryant Garrett, manager of Benton Airpark, confirmed the crash this morning just after 11 a.m. 

Action News Now reporter Mario Montalvo is on the scene collecting information. Federal Aviation Administration investigators are on their way to the scene. 

Stay with KHSL Channel 12 and actionnewsnow.com for the latest updates as they become available. 

Action News Now reporter Mario Montalvo interviewed a witness of the crash, which took place close to his home. 

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