SANTEE (CNS) - The county Medical Examiner's Office Sunday released the names of the three Phoenix family members who died when their small plane crashed Saturday in remote Sycamore Canyon south of Poway, west of Route 67 and east of Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.
The three were identified as William Arthur Stern Jr., 65; his wife Jennifer Jane Stern, 53; and their 19-year-old daughter, Katelyn Jane Stern, all of northeast Phoenix.
Earlier today Stern was identified as the registered owner of the downed plane, according to an FAA tail number that was matched to several aircraft databases.
William Stern was piloting the home-built Lancair turbine aircraft that witnesses saw fall from the sky and strike a hillside, authorities said.
Responding fire personnel confirmed Stern's death, as well as the deaths of his wife and daughter, at the crash scene.
FAA spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine Lancair IV-P crashed Saturday under unknown circumstances around 10:15 a.m. about 3 miles north of Santee.
Gregor said the pilot had departed from Montgomery Field for Deer Valley Airport in Phoenix.
The incident was being investigated by the FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board.
Gregor said the NTSB investigator usually posts a basic preliminary report on the agency's website, www.ntsb.gov, within a week or two of an accident, though it typically takes months to come up with a probable cause for accidents.
CHP officer Robert Catano said a hiker in the area witnessed the small plane going down and said it looked like the plane may have been doing stunts.
A sheriff's helicopter located the crash site.