LIVERMORE -- The male pilot of an experimental plane was killed in a crash early Saturday evening near Interstate 580 that touched off a brush fire, according to emergency responders.

The crash, which destroyed the plane, occurred just before 5 p.m. in a field off North Livermore Road. Alameda County sheriff's spokesman J.D. Nelson said the identity of the pilot would not be released until the coroner's investigation was complete.

Witnesses saw the pilot jumping from the aircraft, which Nelson described as a "kit plane," without a parachute after the plane caught on fire after taking off from Livermore airport and heading north. The tower reported it saw the plane in trouble, then saw flames.

Photographs are made of the charred debris that remains after a small plane described as a kit crashed onto a dry hillside near North Livermore Avenue
Photographs are made of the charred debris that remains after a small plane described as a kit crashed onto a dry hillside near North Livermore Avenue north of westbound Interstate 580 on Saturday, June 21, 2014, in unincorporated Livermore, Calif. J.D. Nelson, public information officer for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, said the plane had taken off from the nearby Livermore Airport and the tower reportedly saw flames coming from the aircraft. The male pilot, who did not have a parachute, leapt from the plane, Nelson said, and was killed after falling 1,000 to 1,500 feet. His body landed about 300 yards from the plane. Emergency responders extinguished a 1.5-acre fire caused by the crash. (Cindi Christie/Bay Area News Group) (CINDI CHRISTIE)

The pilot fell about 1,000 feet and landed about 300 yards from the plane, he said. He was killed instantly on impact.

"Nobody ever survives that," Nelson said.

Firefighters quickly contained the blaze, which scorched about 1.5 acres, said Aisha Knowles, spokeswoman for the Alameda County Fire Department. No one else was injured, she said.

Cal Fire, the Livermore-Pleasanton Fire Department and Camp Parks all assisted in the response, Knowles said. The area about half-mile north of westbound Interstate 580 near North Livermore Avenue includes rolling hills and ranch land with a few residences nearby.

Investigators from the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will investigate the accident, which left little remaining of the plane, Nelson said.


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"It's completely demolished," he said. "There's airplane parts and that's it."

Staff photojournalists Cindi Christie and Jane Tyska contributed to this report. Contact Theresa Harrington at 925-945-4764 or tharrington@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/tunedtotheresa.


Charred debris remains after a small plane described as a kit crashed onto a dry hillside near North Livermore Avenue north of westbound Interstate 580 on
Charred debris remains after a small plane described as a kit crashed onto a dry hillside near North Livermore Avenue north of westbound Interstate 580 on Saturday, June 21, 2014, in unincorporated Livermore, Calif. J.D. Nelson, public information officer for the Alameda County Sheriff's Office, said the plane had taken off from the nearby Livermore Airport and the tower reportedly saw flames coming from the aircraft. The male pilot, who did not have a parachute, leapt from the plane, Nelson said, and was killed after falling 1,000 to 1,500 feet. His body landed about 300 yards from the plane. Emergency responders extinguished a 1.5-acre fire caused by the crash. (Cindi Christie/Bay Area News Group) (CINDI CHRISTIE)