Pilot in Watsonville crash identified

The Santa Cruz County coroner’s office has identified a 58-year-old Atherton man as the pilot who died in a plane crash near Watsonville Saturday.

Gary Lampert died after his experimental aircraft crashed north of an apple orchard Saturday, according to the coroner’s office.

Wreckage from the aircraft is being transported to a storage yard in Sacramento, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said this afternoon.

An FAA investigator returned to the site of the crash this morning to try to determine what caused the experimental aircraft to crash, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said.

The pilot of the homebuilt Lancair Legacy, with tail number N7JX, declared an emergency stating that his engine was on fire before the crash, Gregor said.

It was not known where the aircraft departed from, but it was headed to San Carlos, where it was based. The pilot didn’t file a flight plan, according to Gregor.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash.

 

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