Plane crash kills 5 in Santa Rosa

The Associated Press

SANTA ROSA — Federal investigators are trying to determine what caused the crash of a single-engine airplane shortly after taking off from Santa Rosa’s airport, killing all five people aboard.

The Cessna 206 took off Sunday from the Route 66 Airport around 1 p.m. and crashed almost immediately, said Roland Herwig, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman.

The pilot had not contacted air traffic control, he said.

“We don’t know where the plane was coming from and we don’t know where it was going,” Herwig said.

The passengers are believed to be from Gilbert, Ariz., and were on their way to Chicago, said Santa Rosa police Lt. Jesus Roybal.

“I had a family member call; some of the details they were able to give me I was able to confirm,” he said.

However, no names have been released pending positive identification from the state Office of the Medical Investigator in Albuquerque. The bodies were sent to the OMI on Sunday, Roybal said.

The airplane was registered under a Gilbert, Ariz., address, FAA records showed.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board offices in Arlington, Texas, and Denver were sent to the scene Monday.

Santa Rosa police Sgt. Lorenzo Mata told Albuquerque station KOB-TV that when he arrived at the scene, the aircraft was engulfed in flames. Mata said he grabbed a fire extinguisher, but the fire was too intense.