Pilot identified in fatal North Tahoe plane crash

Stephen Wyer
The Union

INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. — A pilot who died Tuesday in a plane crash in Martis Valley, near Lake Tahoe’s North Shore, has been identified by authorities.

James Duncan Harrell, 24, of Sacramento, died Tuesday morning when the plane he was flying crashed several minutes after taking off from the Truckee Tahoe Airport, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. Another man, who remains unnamed, survived the crash and was reported as being in stable condition as of Tuesday afternoon, after having been transported to the Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.

The crashed plane was identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a single-engine Cirrus SR20. The aircraft belonged to Mountain Lion Aviation, an aircraft rental service based in Nevada County, according to the FAA’s Aircraft Registry.

The crash occurred less than 10 minutes after takeoff, and the aircraft was able to deploy a ballistic parachute before nosediving into the ground, according to a press release issued by authorities.

The Sheriff’s Office said that officials with the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the cause of the crash, which has still not been determined.

Stephen Wyer writes for The Union, a sister publication to the Tribune.

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