Pilot Dies In Plane Crash West Of Fresno

Federal investigators are trying to figure out why a plane went down in West Fresno.

The pilot died in the crash. He was the only person on board.

Investigators say the plane went down, nose first, around 4 o'clock Sunday afternoon near Garfield and Barstow. That's west of the Island Water Park in Fresno.

Witnesses say the single-engine Cessna was heading south when it came crashing down, taking out power lines, before landing in a canal.

"We were watching the ball game then all of a sudden just a 'pow' and the TV went out," said Linda Star, who lives near the crash site.

She and her husband took their dogs to see what was going on. They thought it was a car crash.

"It's kind of shocking. We thought it might be an accident because of the corners. To find out it's an airplane that went down is kind of odd," said Star.

Investigators say the pilot -- who was a man in his 50's -- did not survive.

According to the FAA, the Cessna is registered to a man from Walnut Creek, but investigators have not released the pilot's identity.

They also have not said where the plane was headed, nor where it took off from.

There are a handful of houses in the rural area where the plane went down, but fortunately, the plane crashed into a canal and not into a home.

"We had that happen in Biola. A plane came down in my grandmother's house in the backyard. It's kind of scary," recalls Star.

Sunday's crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration.

So far, they have not said what might have caused the plane to come down.