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One killed in crash of small plane on takeoff from Oceanside municipal airport [Updated]

July 27, 2010 | 11:42 am

The pilot was killed when a small plane developed engine trouble and crashed shortly after takeoff Tuesday morning from the Oceanside municipal airport, officials said.

The plane, which was on fire, crashed in a field. One person aboard was confirmed dead. There were no reports of structures damaged.

The incident occurred about 11 a.m. The airport is east of Interstate 5, next to California 76.

[Updated at 12:35 p.m.: Jaime Quinn, 15, who saw the plane crash said it seemed to be "floating in air" and then went under power lines, hit the ground and exploded in a fireball, sending flames 35 to 40 feet in the air. "The crash was like a big noise," said Quinn, who was on the school grounds about 100 yards away.]

-- Tony Perry in San Diego

Photo: An Oceanside firefighter sprays fire retardant on the smoldering remains of a twin-engine plane that crashed about a mile from the Oceanside Municipal Airport. The pilot died as the plane crashed and exploded on the ground near San Luis Rey Elementary School shortly after takeoff.  Classes were not in session.  Credit: Don Bartletti / Los Angeles Times