Pilot killed in crash of replica WWI-era plane in California

PASO ROBLES, Calif. (AP) — Authorities say a pilot was killed when a replica World War I-era biplane crashed in a field on California’s central coast.

The San Luis Obispo County sheriff’s office says the single-engine, open-cockpit plane went down shortly after takeoff from a private airfield Sunday.

Spokesman Tony Cipolla says the pilot, the only person aboard, died at the scene in Paso Robles, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. The pilot has not been identified.

Sheriff’s department photos show the plane on its side with broken wings and a crumpled front end.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration says it’s a replica Appleby Nieuport 28 from 1976. The original biplanes were built starting in 1917, according to the National Air and Space Museum.

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

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