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Plane crash victim was engineering consultant

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BUENA PARK, Calif. (AP) — A pilot killed when his twin-engine airplane crashed into a vacant lot three blocks from an airport has been identified as an engineering consultant for the Federal Aviation Administration.

Donald Dirian, 69, of Whittier, advised businesses on how to make their aircraft safe enough to pass inspections.

Dirian was the only person aboard the Cessna 337 Skymaster. It was nearly vertical when it hit the ground shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday, bursting into flames between a strip mall and a residential area.

Observers said he guided the aircraft to the only area where he could avoid hitting people or densely packed buildings.