Police initially said Tony Pastini was a former Chicago police officer. Tuesday morning, police said that Pastini was not a former Chicago police officer, but apparently had false Chicago police credentials on him for an unknown reason.
Five people were killed, according to authorities in Yorba Linda, when the Cessna piloted by Pastini crashed into a suburban neighborhood near Los Angeles. Police say he was a veteran private pilot and restaurateur.
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A federal air safety team was working Monday night to determine what happened and why.
"All of the sudden we heard like the plane like winding like whooo and then we heard and explosion like in the sky and it shook our house" said one witness Leslie Krushat.
There were small explosions when the Cessna 414-A hit a home and killed four family members hosting a Super Bowl party. Two men and two women in the home were killed in the fiery crash and then the plane bounced into another backyard. Burning plane parts were scattered throughout the neighborhood.
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Investigators say the pilot has just taken off from an airport about ten minutes away and took a sharp left turn before falling from the sky.
"Preliminary radar data show that a airplane climb to about 7800 feet before started rapidly to the center of the ground," said NTSB investigator Maya Smith. "A few witness reports say that they saw the airplane coming out of a cloud at a very high speed before parts of the airplane such as tail and then subsequently wings started to break off."
Another NTSB officer, Elliott Simpson, said there was a four-block long debris field. "We're in the process of documenting the debris and the wreckage," Simpson said. "The main cabin of the airplane along with one of the engines came to rest at a bottom of a ravine in the backyard of somebody's house."
Pastini was a restaurant owner in Nevada and apparently flying to see family members in Southern California. He was said to have retired from the Chicago police department in the mid-1980s after 21 years on the force. Chicago police officials on Monday said they were unable to verify that an officer by his name or another name he was known to use actually worked for the department.