Authorities investigating a plane crash that killed five people and destroyed a suburban California home earlier this month say the pilot was in possession of fake papers indicating he was a retired Chicago police officer.
Pilot Antonio Pastini, 75, who owned a sushi restaurant in Carson City, Nevada, and a number of other restaurants, departed Fullerton Municipal Airport on Feb. 3 and flew about 10 miles when his Cessna 41A broke apart and burst into flames in the air.
Parts of the airplane were scattered across four blocks of a Yorba Linda neighborhood, but the largest part of the plane struck a home where family members had gathered to watch the Super Bowl. The impact killed four people in the home, identified by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department as Roy Lee Anderson, 85, Dahlia Marlies Leber Anderson, 68, Stacie Norene Leber, 48 and Donald Paul Elliott, 58.
The victims were said to be husband, wife, daughter, and son-in-law. Two other guests in the house survived the plane crash with injuries.
News reports initially identified Mr. Pastini as a retired Chicago Police officer, but the Chicago police said they have no record of Mr. Pastini working for the department. Officials investigating the plane crash found fake retirement papers and a police badge with the same number as one reported lost in 1978, a Chicago police spokesman said, according to USA Today.
Mr. Pastini was born as Jordan Isaacson, but he went by Antonio “Tony” Pastini, his daughter Julia Ackley told NBC Los Angeles. She also said her father flew from his home in Nevada to visit family in California all the time.
Investigators reported that Mr. Pastini was a commercial-grade pilot and was appropriately licensed by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).
Mr. Pastini’s airplane reached an altitude of 7,800 feet before it started rapidly descending and breaking apart. Witnesses told investigators that the plane’s tail and wing broke off while the plane was burning in the air.
The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) removed the wreckage to a facility in Phoenix and the investigation is ongoing. NTSB investigations normally take 12-18 months to complete.