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Man killed in Paso Robles plane crash identified

A WWI replica aircraft crashed near Highway 46 in Paso Robles on Sunday, April 23, 2017.
A WWI replica aircraft crashed near Highway 46 in Paso Robles on Sunday, April 23, 2017.

One person was killed when a single-engine biplane crashed in a field east of the Paso Robles Municipal Airport on Sunday morning.

Javier Fernando Arango, 54, of Los Angeles was the sole occupant in the World War I replica biplane when it took off from a private airstrip near the airport about 9 a.m., according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office. The plane crashed a few minutes later in the area of Highway 46 and Estrella Road.

Arango was a board member emeritus of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum and was a well-known member of the local aviation community.

He was also featured as a World War I aircraft enthusiast in Air & Space magazine, which said he had “one of the world’s finest private collections of World War I aircraft.”

The National Transportation Safety Board and the Federal Aviation Administration are expected to investigate the crash.

Gabby Ferreira: 805-781-7858, @Its_GabbyF

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