Taiwanese-American pilot and adventurer Jefferson Ying was killed on Friday morning in a plane crash at San Gabriel Valley Airport. Ying was 63 years old.
Ying’s single-engine Pazmany PL-2 plane took off from San Gabriel Valley Airport at 9:30 a.m., according to National Transportation Safety Board investigator Patrick H. Jones. Ying flew about 100 to 200 feet before his engine stalled. According to members of the public, the plane turned left before entering a sharp decline and finally crashing onto the runway.
“It’s not yet clear where Ying intended to fly,” Jones said.
Ying was pronounced dead by Los Angeles County Fire Department firefighters who rushed to the scene.
Ying became a pilot in 1981. He had more than 2,000 flight hours logged, and became the first member of the Taiwanese-American community to fly around the world in 2010. Although firefighters initially said that two people were on board when the plane went down, El Monte Police Lt. Ernie Cramer said Ying was traveling alone.
Jones declined to comment on whether the pilot were responsible for the crash, but instead said that mechanical failure was the most likely culprit. A detailed accident report will take about a year to complete.