Plane that left from Van Nuys crashes onto school playground in Santa Barbara County, killing pilot

(Santa Barbara County Fire Department)

A pilot is dead after a single-engine aircraft crashed Wednesday morning onto a school playground in Santa Barbara County. 

The Cirrus SR20 crashed on the grounds of Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt, which is near the Santa Maria Airport around 10:45 a.m. and caught fire, Ian Gregor of the Federal Aviation Administration said in a statement.

“We believe the pilot was the only person on board,'' Gregor said. “The plane had departed from Van Nuys Airport in Los Angeles and was headed to Santa Maria.''

The male pilot, who has been identified as 38-year-old Burbank resident Tigran Garabedyan, was the only person on board and was killed on impact.

According to fire officials the school was closed due to COVID-19 concerns.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash.

City News Service and FOX 11 Digital Journalist Oscar Flores contributed to this report