LIVERMORE (CBS SF) — A 63-year-old military veteran was killed in a plane crash near Livermore on Saturday afternoon, according to the Alameda County coroner’s bureau.

Jerry Parker of Livermore was flying a single-engine Loehle Mustang plane a short time before 5 p.m. Saturday when it crashed in a field
near Interstate Highway 580 about 2 to 3 miles northeast of Livermore, according to Federal Aviation Administration officials.

Parker had departed from Livermore Municipal Airport a short time before the crash, FAA spokesman Allen Kenitzer said.

Emergency responders arrived at the scene of the wreck and found Parker, who was pronounced dead at the scene.

The crash sparked a fire that burned about 1.5 acres of brush in the area but was quickly contained, according to Alameda County Fire Department officials.

Rich Perkins, a longtime friend of the victim and owner of Attitude Aviation, a flight training school where Parker worked a mechanic, said the crash was an unfortunate accident.

Perkins described Parker as “quite the adventurer but very quiet.”

An Air Force veteran who recently worked as a civilian contractor for the military in Iraq, Parker had decades of experience working on planes, Perkins said. He is survived by a daughter.

The aircraft that crashed on Saturday was one of Parker’s most recent projects — a kit plane that he partially built and that had undergone rigorous FAA testing, according to Perkins.

The National Transportation Safety Board is leading the investigation into the crash.

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