TRUCKEE, Calif. (AP) — A small airplane crashed near Lake Tahoe on Tuesday, killing the pilot and a passenger and critically injuring the only other person on board the single-engine aircraft.
The 60-year-old pilot from suburban Sacramento, who was declared dead at the scene, reported engine trouble shortly after takeoff and was trying to make it back to the airport in Truckee, California, when the plane went down about 7:40 a.m.
Two male passengers were flown by a medical helicopter to a Reno, Nevada, hospital with critical injuries. One of them later died, the Placer County sheriff’s office said.
Kenneth Whittall-Scherfee of Carmichael, the pilot who also owned the plane, issued a “May Day” alert before the crash, the sheriff’s office said. The names of the passengers have not been released.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor confirmed three people were on board the single-engine, Navion-B aircraft when it crashed near the Northstar ski resort along State Route 267.
“The pilot reported engine problems and was trying to return to the Truckee-Tahoe Airport when the crash occurred,” he said in an email to The Associated Press. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the cause of the crash about a mile (1.6 kilometers) south of the airport, he said.
Traffic was delayed for several hours on the state highway connecting U.S. Interstate 80 to Lake Tahoe’s north shore at Kings Beach, California.
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