YORBA LINDA, Calif. (FOX 11) - Family members of the pilot in a deadly plane crash in Yorba Linda that killed five people are speaking out about the man they love and remember.
NTSB investigators identified the pilot as 75-year-old Antonio Pastini. His Cessna 414 airplane crashed Sunday setting a Yorba Linda home on fire.
Julia Ackley is Pastini’s daughter. He was the pilot and sole person aboard that plane, and she says she hasn’t slept since she got that call around midnight Monday.
"I called him [Saturday] night and asked him to call me when he got home safely,” said Julia Ackley. "The only call I got was from the Sheriff’s department.
"A few witness reports say they saw the plane coming out of a cloud at a very high speed before parts of the plane started to break off,” said NTSB Investigator Maja Smith.
The NTSB says that in-flight break-up is consistent with the trail of parts stretching across four blocks on and nearly 16 homes on Crestknoll Drive. It’s one of the largest debris fields they’ve ever seen, but it’s still unclear what went wrong.
Pastini took off from Fullerton Municipal Airport Sunday around 1:30 p.m. He was heading back to Nevada after spending the weekend with his daughter and 11-year-old granddaughter.
"We had lunch on Saturday, had ice cream, and made arrangements for him to come back this Saturday for [his granddaughter’s] first opening [softball] game," said Ackley, who described her dad as an experienced pilot who had been flying more than 50 years.
She remembers taking trips with him as a child and had just flown with him last month. "He was my hero growing up,” Ackley said fighting back tears, "My everything."
Investigators say Pastini was killed along with four others who have not yet been identified. Neighbors say an elderly couple lived in the home and were hosting a Super Bowl party for family.
"Based on initial information from individuals who survived the incident,” said Lt. Cory Martino, Chief of Police for Yorba Linda, “We believe the individuals were members of a family attending a gathering."
"My heart goes out to those other families still, too," said Ackley. "The only consolation is right now I’ve got a little bit of closure, so my heart goes out to you who are still suffering."