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Officials ID Bay Area men killed in Sierra plane crash

Authorities have officially identified two Bay Area men who were killed in a plane crash in the Sierra foothills last week.

Officials with the Butte County Coroner’s Office say 54-year-old Frederick Lewis of Fairfield and 26-year-old Matthew Moody of Alamo were on board the single-engine plane when it went down outside of the community of Paradise, about 15 miles northeast of Chico.

Friends had previously said it was Lewis and Moody who were killed in the crash just before noon last Tuesday. But Butte County officials did not release their IDs until they had positively identified the two men through the use of dental records.

Officials have said the plane — a 1966 Champion, fixed-wing, single-engine two-seater — was registered to Lewis, co-owner of an aerial surveillance company.

Lewis and Moody were doing surveillance work on a natural gas pipeline for Pacific Gas & Electric Co. when the plane crashed into a remote canyon.

When firefighters arrived at the scene they found the aircraft badly damaged and  the plane fully engulfed in flames. The blaze from the wreckage sparked a brush fire that burned about 15 acres.

The cause of the crash is under investigation.

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