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Oct 15, 2012 6:46 PM

Pima Co. Sheriff's Dept. identifies Ca. pilot killed in plane crash

TUCSON - The Pima County Sheriff's Department has identified the pilot who was killed in a crash in Marana last night as 57-year-old James Lloyd Thompson from El Centro, California.

At about 9:52 p.m. Sunday night, PCSD was notified of the crash by Customs and Border Protection, who had deployed a Blackhawk helicopter to locate the wreck after the Federal Aviation Administration had reported they had lost contact with the airplane, according to a news release from the sheriff's department.

Deputies and investigators responded to a remote desert area about four miles south of Avra Valley Road and Agua Dulce Ranch, where Border Patrol agents had secured the crash site, the release states. Investigators identified the pilot and sole occupant of the Piper Model PA-28-51 airplane as Thompson, who had dropped off family members in Las Cruces, New Mexico, then stopped over in Benson, Arizona. From there, he planned to return directly to El Centro.

National Transportation Safety Board and FAA investigators are working to determine the cause of the crash.

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