Six people were killed on Saturday after a small plane that was traveling from Las Vegas crashed near an airport in Murrieta, Calif., the authorities said.
Emergency responders found the aircraft engulfed in flames in a field outside French Valley Airport, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department said. The six occupants were pronounced dead at the scene, the department said.
The identities of the victims were not immediately available.
The crash of the plane, a Cessna C550, was reported around 4:15 a.m. local time. The crash burned about an acre of vegetation before the fire was contained more than an hour later, fire officials said.
The flight had departed from Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas at 3:15 a.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration, which is investigating the crash with the National Transportation Safety Board.
Elliott Simpson, an N.T.S.B. investigator, said at a news conference on Saturday that a foggy marine layer of air mass began to envelop the area, causing low visibility shortly before the pilot planned to land.
The pilot told air traffic controllers that he was going to perform a missed approach procedure, which generally happens when a pilot cannot see the runway and tries to land again later, Mr. Simpson said.
Air traffic controllers approved the procedure for the pilot to make another landing attempt, Mr. Simpson said. The plane crashed about 500 feet short of a runway after the pilot attempted an instrument landing approach, he said.
“It appears that the weather was at the minimums for landing at that airport, so the visibility and ceilings allowed for a landing — but it was right on the minimums,” Mr. Simpson said.
He said the N.T.S.B. would continue its investigation into the cause of the crash.
The crash occurred just days after another fatal plane crash in the area.
On Tuesday, a single-engine Cessna 172 crashed shortly after takeoff from French Valley Airport in Murrieta, a city of 113,000 people that is about 80 miles southeast of Los Angeles, the sheriff’s department said.
The pilot was pronounced dead at the scene. The authorities identified the pilot as Jared Newman, a 39-year-old resident of Temecula, about 60 miles north of San Diego.
Three juvenile passengers were taken to a hospital with various degrees of injuries, local officials said. Their conditions were not immediately available on Saturday.
Mr. Simpson said the crashes at French Valley Airport “could be completely unrelated — it’s early days.”
Eduardo Medina contributed reporting.