A helicopter pilot was killed when his small craft crashed into a freeway and burst into flames, authorities said.

The man's body was so badly burned that dental records may be needed to identify him, coroner's officials said Saturday.

The two-seat Robinson R-22 was heading from El Monte's airport to Torrance when it went down at about 11 p.m. Friday in the southbound lanes of the Harbor Freeway in South Los Angeles, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said. The helicopter did not strike any vehicles.

The pilot, who was alone, was not in contact with air traffic controllers at the time, Gregor said.

Debris was scattered across several hundred yards of the freeway but nobody on the ground was hurt.

The cause of the crash was under investigation.