Authorities had initially reported four dead in the confusion after the small plane went down Monday afternoon and hit two homes about a half-mile (800 meters) northeast of Riverside Municipal Airport.
The FAA identified the aircraft as a Cessna 310 and said the crash occurred “under unknown circumstances.”
Michael Moore, the fire chief in Riverside — a city about 60 miles east of Los Angeles — told NBC that all of the victims had been aboard the plane.
The husband, wife and three teenagers had been headed back to San Jose after attending a cheerleading competition at Disneyland, Moore told The Press-Enterprise newspaper. The wife had been piloting the plane.
The two homes that were hit were destroyed, while others nearby sustained moderate damage.
While no one on the ground was hurt, it was nonetheless a harrowing experience.
The plane crashed into David Swinfard’s house, not far from the couch where he was sitting doing a crossword puzzle. He escaped with only a minor burn.
“I thought, I’m going to have to get out of here or I’m going to die,” he told NBC.