Plane Crash

An Escondido man, a former Navy captain and POW in Vietnam, was one of three who died Friday when a small two-engine plane crashed.
DELANO, Calif. (AP) -- A former Navy captain and prisoner of war in Vietnam was one of three who died today when a small two-engine plane crashed in California's Central Valley.

Cole Black of Escondido was aboard the twin-engine plane that crashed in an orange grove in a rural area near Delano, his wife, Karen Black, tells The Associated Press.

Black was a Navy pilot who was shot down over North Vietnam and was jailed in a prison nicknamed "Hanoi Hilton" for nearly seven years. He was heading home after speaking to students in Oregon about his experience as a POW.

Cole was aboard the Piper Aerostar 602P. It took off from Roseburg, Oregon, about 75 miles southwest of Eugene.

According to the News-Review newspaper in Oregon, also aboard were Bruce Klein, the owner of several Papa Murphy's pizza restaurants in Oregon, and Sally S. Wilson, a retired school teacher.

The newspaper says the plane was being piloted by Klein.

The crash is being investigated by the National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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