4 hospitalized with burns following Sacramento County plane crash

Four people are in critical condition with burns after they were pulled from an airplane that went down Thursday afternoon near a private airstrip in Sacramento County, fire officials said.

The plane landed between trees in the large front yard of a home and caused a small vegetation fire that was quickly extinguished, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District told television stations ABC 10 and KCRA 3.

The plane landed in the Wilton area, southeast of Sacramento and east of Elk Grove.

Steven Scharf told KCRA 3 that he saw the aircraft crash and burst into flames. He jumped out of his truck and ran across the street with his fire extinguisher.

He saw a man he believed to be the pilot crawling away from the flames with an apparent broken leg and doused him with the extinguisher.

Scharf said he helped three other people — a woman who appeared to be pregnant and two teenage boys — out of the aircraft.

The station also showed video of the aircraft, a white biplane, taking off at around 4:15 p.m. from nearby Alta Mesa Airpark, then quickly veering left and coming down behind trees.

The Federal Aviation Administration said it has not yet identified what type of aircraft it was that crashed.

The privately operated airpark has a 2,600-foot runway typically open only to residents living next to the tarmac, The Sacramento Bee reported.

No one on the ground was injured, and no structures were threatened by the crash, Fire Capt. Parker Wilbourn told the newspaper.

The four people were extricated and were in critical condition with burns, fire officials said.

The Federal Aviation Administration had yet to identify the type of aircraft that crashed.

The crash came four days after the pilot of a twin-engine plane crashed in a San Diego suburb, killing the pilot and a delivery driver on the ground and burning homes. While the cause of Monday's Southern California crash is still under investigation, the pilot disregarded repeated pleas from an air traffic controller to increase altitude and stay on course.