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Pilot is killed after small plane crashes into parked cars near northeastern Los Angeles airport

The pilot of a small plane was killed after the aircraft crashed into several parked vehicles in a residential area located just a few feet from an airport runway in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles on Thursday morning.

Several cars on the street burst into flames after the aircraft apparently collided into them just before 11:30am local time, according to initial reports.

Contrary to initial reports, the plane, a single-engine Cessna 172, did not crash into a home, KABC-TV reported. The pilot was the only person on board, according to authorities.

First responders rushed to the scene near Whiteman Airport in the northeastern San Fernando Valley, KTLA-TV reported.  By noon local time, firefighters managed to extinguish the flames.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said that the flames spread to at least one structure. 

The aircraft was approaching Runway 12 when it crashed, according to preliminary information released by the Federal Aviation Administration. 

One person has been killed after a small plane crashed into parked cars in a residential area adjacent to an airport runway in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon

One person has been killed after a small plane crashed into parked cars in a residential area adjacent to an airport runway in the Pacoima section of Los Angeles on Thursday afternoon

A witness took a photo of the billowing smoke a few hundred yards away from the crash site

A witness took a photo of the billowing smoke a few hundred yards away from the crash site

Smoke is seen billowing in a residential neighborhood in the northeastern San Fernando Valley

Smoke is seen billowing in a residential neighborhood in the northeastern San Fernando Valley

While at least two cars were destroyed, no homes appeared to be damaged, according to local officials

While at least two cars were destroyed, no homes appeared to be damaged, according to local officials

Video footage shot by news helicopters showed smoke billowing from the crash site in front of a home near Pierce Street and Sutter Avenue. 

At least two cars appeared to be on fire. 

Firefighters on the scene said that the aircraft appeared to have caused power lines to come down.

As a result, authorities shut off electricity to the area.

Video footage shot by news helicopters showed smoke billowing from the crash site in front of a home near Pierce Street and Sutter Avenue

Video footage shot by news helicopters showed smoke billowing from the crash site in front of a home near Pierce Street and Sutter Avenue

Local firefighters said that the plane appeared to cause power lines to come down

Local firefighters said that the plane appeared to cause power lines to come down

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine Cessna 172 was approaching the airport runway when it crashed. The above image is a stock photo of a Cessna 172

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the single-engine Cessna 172 was approaching the airport runway when it crashed. The above image is a stock photo of a Cessna 172

‘Firefighters extinguished the flames engulfing at least two vehicles and the wreckage after a small aircraft went down in a residential area,’ the LAFD said in a statement. 

‘The fire spread to trees and vegetation in front of a residential home, but firefighters navigated downed power lines and protected the home from sustaining any structural fire damage. 

‘Sadly, the sole occupant of the aircraft was deceased. No other bystander injuries reported. 

‘The circumstances surrounding the events leading up to the crash are under investigation.’ 

Whiteman Airport is an airfield with a narrow runway that primarily caters to small aircraft as well as medium turboprops and jets. It is owned and operated by Los Angels County. 

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board have launched an investigation into the crash. 

The crash took place just two months after two people were killed when a small plane slammed into a parking lot in nearby Van Nuys Airport.

The plane, which crashed just off a runway, barely missing parked cars in a narrow space between industrial buildings.  

This is a developing story. Check back for more updates. 

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