NewsCovering Kern County


UPDATE: Pilot killed in Porterville plane crash identified

Lt Col Billy “Taz” Sullivan
Posted at 5:04 PM, Jun 07, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-08 21:18:43-04

PORTERVILLE, Calif. (KERO) — (UPDATE): The pilot who died in a plane crash near Porterville Municipal Airport Monday was identified as Lt. Col. Billy "Taz" Sullivan, according to Fresno's 144th Fighter Wing.

In a statement, the 144th FW said, ""He was at the pinnacle of his Air Force and aviation career and truly the future of the 144th Fighter Wing. Our condolences and sympathies go out to his wife, Diane, and his family and friends."

A pilot has died following a crash near Porterville Municipal Airport in Porterville, our Fresno affiliated ABC30 reported.

23ABC reached out to the Federal Aviation Administration who said the crash involved a single-engine Vans RV-6A and the pilot was the only person aboard.

The crash took place around 2:20 p.m. Monday.

The FAA said the pilot was trying to return to the airport when the crash occurred. According to ABC30, pictures from the scene showed flames coming from the torched wreckage of the plane, and fire crews at the scene trying to extinguish them.

The FAA will release the aircraft tail number after investigators confirm it at the scene. The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate.