Plane that crashed killing 14 was built to carry only 9

SACRAMENTO — A plane that left Oroville, a small town about 70 miles north of Sacramento, on Sunday morning crashed in Montana 2 1/2 hours later, killing 14 people, including seven children, a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman said.

Oroville's police chief said he didn't believe anyone on the plane was from his city, but, as of Sunday night, it wasn't clear where the passengers were from.

The Napa Valley Register reported on its Web site late Sunday that a family of five from St. Helena, Calif., including three preschoolers, was among the victims.

Before coming to Oroville, the plane made stops in Redlands and Vacaville.

It flew from San Diego to Redlands on Saturday.

"The plane was en route from Oroville to Bozeman for reasons we don't know," said FAA spokesman Les Dorr.

"They diverted into Butte and crashed 500 feet short of the runway."

Tom Hagler, a mechanic at the Oroville airport, said Sunday evening that he arrived at 11 a.m. and saw the plane. He let about a dozen children, ages 6 to 10, from the plane use the airport bathroom.

Hagler said he spoke with the pilot but he didn't recognize him or any of the children. He didn't know if any of the group's members were local.

Hagler, who runs Table Mountain Aviation, the airport's service center, said he would be surprised if 17 people could fit into the plane.

The craft, a Pilatus PC-12, is built to carry nine passengers, according to the Swiss manufacturer's technical specifications. The crashed plane was built in 2001.

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