4 killed on flight from Henderson to Southern California

Updated February 12, 2018 - 1:46 am

Four people were killed Sunday when a small, home-built plane flying from Henderson crashed near a mountain town in Southern California, authorities said.

The private plane went down late Sunday morning in a remote canyon about 40 miles north of downtown Los Angeles, the Los Angeles County Fire Department said. The aircraft broke apart and debris was strewn throughout dry brush along a dirt road near Agua Dulce, California.

Jake Hastings of Winnetka, California, said his father, 65-year-old Tom Hastings, was flying from Henderson to Van Nuys with three other family members when the plane hit power lines and went down about 11 a.m.

“He’s been in love with flying his whole life,” his son said, adding that his father got his pilot’s license before he could even drive.

Hastings’ sister, 27-year-old Amber Hill; his brother-in-law, 25-year-old Jacob Hill; and his 9-year-old niece, Madison Hastings-Saxelby, were also killed in the crash. The family was on a weekend vacation from Winnetka.

The flight between Las Vegas and California is one the Hastings family had made dozens of times since Tom Hastings finished building the plane in 1999. He was an avid flyer who frequented air shows and flew all over the country with his family, his son said.

Tom Hastings’ wife, Joyce, was still in Las Vegas on Sunday night, his son said. Jake Hastings planned to drive to Las Vegas to pick her up and head back toward home Monday afternoon.

The single-engine plane was a Cirrus VK-30 classified as an experimental aircraft, according to Federal Aviation Administration records. Agency spokesman Allen Kenitzer said the FAA and National Transporation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Flying was a lifelong goal for his dad, Jake Hastings said.

“I don’t think he would have regretted anything,” he said. “In fact I’m certain he would not.”

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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