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Victims identified in plane crash into Angwin vineyard in Napa County

Authorities, on Monday, identified the three people killed in last week’s Napa County plane crash as a Southern California man and his daughter and son-in-law from Virginia.

Robert Nicholas, 73 of Murrieta, piloted the Beechcraft Bonanza that crashed around 8:40 a.m. Friday near Angwin Airport-Parrett Field, according to the Napa County Sheriff’s Office.

Also on board were James and Shauna Waite, both 37 and from Arlington.

Federal Aviation Administration records show Nicholas owned a Beech V35B fixed wing single-engine aircraft that was built in 1973.

Also according to flight records, the plane departed French Valley Airport near Murrieta around 5:50 a.m. Friday, before crashing in Napa County.

It wasn’t immediately clear if Napa County was the group’s final destination.

The FAA reported the plane clipped trees when the pilot tried to gain altitude following an aborted landing.

The plane crashed into a vineyard on Las Posadas Road south of the airport and caught fire.

The FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are investigating the crash and the cause of the aborted landing.

Last week, FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said missed approaches can typically occur for various reasons, such as a pilot coming in too steep or fast, strong tailwinds or crosswinds, or “even making a hard landing and taking off again to avoid losing control on the ground.”

You can reach Staff Writer Colin Atagi at colin.atagi@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @colin_atagi

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