Small Plane Crashes Into Las Vegas Home, Killing Pilot

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The pilot of a small plane was killed Thursday after the aircraft caught fire and crashed into a neighborhood as it approached an executive airport.

Las Vegas Fire Department spokesman Tim Szymanski said authorities believe no one on the ground was injured when the twin-engine Piper Navajo plowed through power lines and crashed into a driveway, igniting a three-alarm fire that heavily damaged one home.

The plane crashed into a car parked in the driveway before coming to rest against a block wall in the home's rear yard, Szymanski said.

"It appears, right now, at this time, we only have one fatality, the pilot that was on the aircraft," Szymanski said.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the pilot radioed the control tower about a "rough-running engine" shortly before the aircraft went down about a half-mile short of the North Las Vegas Airport runway.

Fire officials said witnesses called in to report an aircraft on fire about 2:30 p.m.

Within about an hour, the fire that consumed much of the what appeared to be a single-family home and scored an adjacent home More than eight fire engines responded to the crash.

This is the second similar plane crash in the Las Vegas-area in a week. An experimental plane killed three people Friday when it crashed into a home near North Las Vegas airport.

Officials have not determined the cause of that crash.

North Las Vegas Airport is the second-busiest airport in Nevada after McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas, according to the airport's Web site. It's a busy hub for small planes and jets, and serves as a base for sightseeing flights to the Grand Canyon and other attractions.

It was the 63rd busiest airport in the country in 2007 when it handled 216,000 flights, according to FAA records.