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Pilot in fatal Orcutt plane crash identified as Burbank man; wreckage removed from school grounds Thursday

Pilot in fatal Orcutt plane crash identified as Burbank man; wreckage removed from school grounds Thursday

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The tail and charred remains of an airplane lie on the playground at Dunlap Elementary School where it crashed Wednesday morning, killing the pilot.

The pilot of a small plane who died when the plane crashed on the campus of Ralph Dunlap Elementary School in Orcutt Wednesday morning has been identified as Tigran Garabedyan, 38, of Burbank, according to Sheriff's spokesperson Raquel Zick.

The pilot's identity was released Thursday night, after wreckage of the plane was removed from the campus earlier in the day, and was confirmed with the use of an ANDE Rapid DNA Instrument that is currently on loan to the Coroner’s Bureau, Zick said. 

No one was available at the National Transportation Safety Board to comment on the investigation Thursday, but crash information posted on the Federal Aviation Administration website listed the aircraft as a Cirrus SR22 with the tail number N883PJ.  

However, the website, which tracks aircraft, lists a plane with the same tail number as a Cirrus SR20 owned by West by Southwest Investments LLC of Newport Beach, that flew out of Van Nuys Airport Wednesday bound for Santa Maria Public Airport. 

The remainder of the crash investigation will be handled by the FAA and NTSB, Zick said.


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County Reporter/Associate Editor

Lee Central Coast Newspapers associate editor Mike Hodgson covers Santa Barbara County government and events and issues in Santa Ynez Valley. Follow him on Twitter @MHodgsonSYVNews.

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The following is taken from the Santa Maria Police Department's calls-for-service log and the Santa Barbara County Sheriff's Office daily arrest log. Those appearing as "arrested" are only suspected of the crime indicated but are presumed innocent.

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