NBC Bay Area
The Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office said deputies raced to a field near the county airport in Byron after a small plane crashed and burned in a field not too far away.
Two people were killed in a plane crash near Brentwood this afternoon, a Contra Costa County sheriff's spokesman said.
Deputies responded to a report of a plane down in a field near Marsh Creek Road and Byron Highway, several miles north of the Byron Airport, just after 2 p.m., sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Lee said.
Emergency responders found the plane on fire in the field, and fire crews extinguished it, Lee said.
It was originally believed that only one person had died in the crash, but crews examining the wreckage this evening discovered a second body, Lee said.
The plane that crashed was an experimental Glasair III, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
The plane is registered to DSB Inc., located in Fernley, Nev., according to FAA records.
Pilots from the area have told Keith Freitas, director of airports for Contra Costa County, that they believe the plane came from a nearby private airstrip called Funny Farm Airport.
The airstrip, located near Penny Lane just outside of Brentwood, has been around for several decades, Freitas said.
The owner of the airstrip appears to be the same person to whom the plane is registered, based on FAA records.
Joshua McLean, 19, said he witnessed the plane fall from the sky after hearing the engine whirring overhead.
"It was about 1,500 feet off the ground and corkscrewing toward the ground," McLean said.
"It seemed as though he had just lost control of the plane," said McLean, whose family operates a farm next to the crash site. "I didn't see the impact because it was below the tree line."
"When it hit the ground, you could feel the rumble," he said.
The plane came to rest in a neighbor's property. McLean said he drove to the crash site and called 911.
"From the nose to the tail, the plane was almost completely gone," he said of the wreckage. "There was just the tail and smoke and fire coming from it."
He said he saw a body at the crash site.
Emergency responders arrived about five minutes after McLean got to the scene as local farmers gathered to watch, he said.
McLean said the plane landed in a field that was tilled and prepared for the planting of tomatoes next spring.