PACIFIC PALISADES—The pilot of the plane that crashed near the Van Nuys Airport on Friday, September 11, killing two people onboard has been identified.
Jim De Varennes, 62, of Pacific Palisades was accompanied by a female passenger whose identity has not been released, according to the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office.
The plane took off from Van Nuys Airport and shortly after 3:00 p.m. it crashed west of the airport in a parking lot on 7001 North Hayvenhurst Ave. De Varennes was flying a single-engine Nation B type aircraft — he and his passenger were pronounced dead at the scene.
Firefighters quickly extinguished the flames and remained on the scene after the first response due to safety concerns over leaked fuel from the plane, according to Nicholas Prange of the Los Angeles Fire Department.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, there was no damage to nearby structures and three vehicles suffered minor damage.
Early reports say De Varennes was headed for Santa Ynez Airport in Santa Barbara County, and that witnesses saw the plane stalling after the initial climb, and then nose-dive into the ground.
Canyon News reached out to the National Transportation Safety Board to confirm if an investigation of the incident was ongoing, but has not heard back.
LAFD said the FAA was on the scene performing a thorough investigation to determine the cause of the crash.