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"I was just in shock": Witnesses recount deadly Orcutt plane crash

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Posted at 5:25 PM, May 20, 2020

A pilot was killed in a plane crash at an Orcutt elementary school Wednesday morning.

We're learning the Cirrus SR20 had departed from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles and was headed for Santa Maria.

Home surveillance captured the moment the single engine plane crashed onto the basketball courts of Ralph Dunlap Elementary.

"I was just in shock," said Andrew Perez.

Located in an Orcutt neighborhood, neighbors captured the deadly crash from multiple angles.

Perez was working on a nearby roof when he saw the plane go down.

"I heard a noise and looked up and all of a sudden we see a parachute fall out and as soon as the parachute hit the floor it just ignited right away," Perez said.

One surveillance camera captured the time of the fiery crash as 10:42 a.m.

Many neighbors saw the immediate aftermath.

"Just getting into the car and heading home and saw just a big puff of black smoke and thought what the heck," said Laura Lutz who lives down the street.

Multiple 911 calls were made.

The crash happened on a blacktop that would have been filled with 4th through 6th graders at recess if the school was not closed due to the shelter-at-home order.

Santa Barbara County Fire Department confirmed the pilot was killed on impact. He was the only one on board.

"I usually see a lot of things in roofing but nothing like that," Perez said.

The Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office along with the NTSB and FAA are investigating.

Santa Maria Airport Manager, Chris Hastert tells KSBY that at this time the pilot is not believed to be from the Santa Maria area.