Pilot Dies In Small Plane Crash Near Van Nuys Airport

A small airplane crashed in the middle of an intersection near Van Nuys airport, killing the pilot.

The pilot is not being identified, but FOX 10 has learned the plane is registered to a Scottsdale address. The plane went down at Hayvenhurst Avenue and Vanowen Street, just south of the small airport in the San Fernando Valley.

Police say the pilot was a man in his 40's and died at the scene.

Some witnesses say the pilot was practicing takeoffs and landings at the airport, or touch and go's as pilots call it.

But around 1 in the afternoon, just minutes after taking off from the airport it crashed. 

Records show the plane is a Lancair 320, it's tail number indicates an experimental amateur-built plane. The records list a Scottsdale address belonging to an ASU professor who spent almost two decades working at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. 

According to his biography he's a helicopter instructor and a commercial airline pilot, it's unknown if he was flying the plane when it crashed.

"It could have been a lot worse, it is Friday afternoon as well. I think the citizens in the area really were very fortunate this wasn't a more tragic day today," said Los Angeles Police Sergeant Barry Montgomery.

LAPD officers closed down the intersection where the plane crashed while they investigated the cause of the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board.

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