Plane crash kills two Ramona men

Two Ramona men were killed in an experimental plane crash in Barona Mesa on Saturday afternoon.

Christopher Kloman, 50, and Paul Franklin Claerbout, 60, died in the crash that occurred in a field in the 25100 block of Mesa Estates Road. According to witnesses, a wing from the open-cockpit plane came off and it went straight down and crashed, sending debris as far as one-quarter of a mile away.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) are investigating the cause of the crash. While officials received some reports that the plane may have been doing aerobatics before the crash, Ramonans with knowledge of the home-built plane said it was not made to do aerobatics and the plane may have malfunctioned, causing the pilot to lose control, giving people on the ground the impression the aircraft was doing aerobatic maneuvers such as loops or rolls.

The plane, a Bakeng Duce manufactured in 1986, is owned by Jerry Taylor of Ramona, according to the FAA registry. It is classified as an experimental fixed-wing, single-engine plane in the amateur-built category.

It is unknown who was piloting the light plane, which FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said took off from Ramona Airport. The accident occurred about 2:35 p.m., officials reported.

One resident in the area told news crews the plane disintegrated as it fell to the ground.

The crash caused no fire or threat to structures in the area, CalFire reported.

Barona Mesa is a development south of San Diego Country Estates in Ramona.

   
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