The pilot of the single-engine Beechcraft Sierra had taken off only moments earlier. To secure the door, he requested to turn around and land. The plane gained some more elevation first, then banked left.
But during the bank, the plane suddenly fell nose first, according to the National Transportation Safety Board report.
About a quarter mile from the Henderson Executive Airport, it slammed into a street, slid through a steel barrier fence, then came to rest in a drainage area, according to the report. With more than 20 gallons of fuel in the tank, the wreckage was consumed in flames.
The cause of the crash remains under investigation.
According to the report, the plane had attempted to depart the morning of Sept. 7, but the plane grew too hot and could not climb high enough to get over the mountains. The National Weather Service reported a high that day of 106 degrees.
So the crew returned to the airport and waited to take off again until dusk.
The plane was registered to the California Flight Academy in El Cajon, California. Its occupants included an instructional pilot, a pilot receiving instruction, a mechanic and another pilot, according to the report. It remains unclear who was flying the plane.
They had originally flown to Henderson to repair a separate California Flight Academy plane that was damaged for unknown reasons and stuck in Henderson, then return in both planes to El Cajon.
But when the second plane could not be repaired, the group of four decided to return to California together. They crashed about 7:50 p.m.
More information on the wreck was not available Tuesday.
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