The Cessna 340 crashed into a UPS van and killed the driver. Two houses were then set on fire in Santee, a suburb of 50,000 residents east of San Diego, just after 12 p.m. Monday.
United Parcel Service of America Inc. will hold a moment of silence for Steve Krueger, van driver. He is remembered for his humor and ability to make work easier. Arizona doctor who owned the plane also died. An elderly couple, whose home was set on fire by the accident, suffered severe burns.
It wasn't clear if there were any other passengers on the plane.
According to Jennifer Gabris, spokeswoman for the agency, an investigator from the National Transportation Safety Board arrived on the scene of the crash Tuesday morning.
She said that investigators will examine radar data, weather information and air traffic control communication. They also review the aircraft maintenance records and medical records of pilots.
When the plane crashed, it was attempting to land at San Diego's Montgomery-Gibbs Executive Airport. The pilot was alerted by an air traffic controller that the aircraft was flying too low shortly before it crashed.
In audio from KSWB-TV, the controller said to the pilot: "Low altitude alert. Climb immediately. Climb the plane."
The controller repeatedly exhorted the plane to climb to 5,000ft (1,524m). When it stopped at 1,500ft (457m), the controller said: "You seem to be descending again.
According to Dr. Sugata das, Yuma Regional Medical Center's chief medical officer, the plane belonged to him.
According to a website of the Power of Love Foundation, a non profit organization that he directed, Das was a licensed pilot who lived in San Diego. He commuted to Yuma.
He was blessed with two sons.
Dr. BharatMagu released a statement saying that Dr. Das, an outstanding cardiologist and dedicated father, leaves a lasting legacy. We extend our support and prayers to his family, friends, and colleagues during this difficult time."
UPS stated that it would offer a moment silence to Krueger at 12:14 PM Pacific Time to honor his loved ones. This was the time when the plane is believed to have crashed into a van.
In an emailed statement to The Associated Press, the company stated that Steve was a person of high regard who took pride in his work and that his positive attitude and joy made even the most difficult days a bit easier. "Steve will be missed greatly and was highly respected."
A block away, residents reported that their houses were shaken by the loud crash.
Neighbors rushed to rescue a couple thought to be in their 70s who were trapped inside a burning house.
Michael Keeley (43), ran nakedfoot outside, and saw fires devouring the UPS truck. He called through an open window with two of his neighbors who were also at the home on fire.