Three Die in Small Plane Crash in California

A small plane attempting an emergency landing during a flight from Nevada to Southern California crashed in the desert Sunday, killing all three people on board, authorities said.

The four-seat Beech 33 Bonanza had taken off from North Las Vegas and was headed to Corona, Calif. when it went down about 10 miles east of Barstow at about 1:30 p.m., officials from the Federal Aviation Administration and the California Highway Patrol said.

The pilot had declared an emergency and was trying to get the plane to Barstow-Daggett Airport when he and the two passengers were killed, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the crash, and authorities have not released the names of those on board.

The National Transportation Safety Board has taken over the investigation, Kenitzer said.

Barstow, a high desert city of about 22,000 and a popular stop for travelers on Interstate 15, is about 150 miles southwest of Las Vegas and 90 miles northeast of Los Angeles.

The site was within a few miles of the crash of a similar flight that also killed three people earlier this year.

That plane, a Cessna 210, was headed from Orange County to the Las Vegas area on March 20 when it plunged into a hillside and caught fire about 2 1/2 miles from Barstow-Daggett Airport, killing all three on board.