PCSO: Chandler man killed in vintage plane crash

Posted at 12:40 PM, Feb 05, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-06 22:40:52-05

Authorities say a World War II-era plane crashed and burned near the town of Maricopa, killing two people.

Mark Clark of the Pinal County Sheriff's Office said deputies arrived at the scene and found the burning aircraft wreckage in the western part of the county, near Papago and Ralston roads. 

Two people died, including the pilot, 61-year-old Jeffrey Pino from Chandler.  The second victim was identified as 72-year-old Nickolas Tramontano, a resident of Brookfield, Conneticut. 

Air15 video showed a damaged and charred plane and fire officials actively spraying fire suppressant on it.

Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said preliminary information on the crash indicated the plane was a P-51D Mustang, a type of single-engine American fighter used during World War II.

Suzanne Barnes lives nearby and said she hears planes fly overhead all the time but this time was different.

“I heard the engine cutting in and out, in and out, in and out, then an explosion, the power goes out, I walk out the front door and I see a huge black plume of smoke and am like ‘Wow, I think there's been a plane crash,'" Barnes said.

She says the lights were out for about 40 minutes. She was told the surge of the explosion knocked the power out. 

The spokesman said the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the crash.

Maricopa is about 35 miles south of Phoenix.