No motive is known for the attack and President Bill Clinton was not in the White House at the time. Mr Corder is said by his brother to have had no strong political beliefs but his family said he was distressed by the death of his father and separation from his wife.
The White House Secret Service said Mr Corder, who had been treated for alcoholism and drug abuse, was disturbed, according to his medical records.
It is unlikely he was trying to land the plane because the south portico of the White House is protected by a fence and dotted with trees. Mr Clinton said: 'We take this incident seriously because the White House is the people's house and it is the job of every president who lives here to keep it safe and secure'.
Although aircraft are prohibited from flying over the White House, it is so close to National Airport that former Secret Service officials say it is not feasible to warn off or shoot down intruding aircraft. Mr Corder appears to have flown under the radar screen and was spotted from the White House only 14 seconds before he died.
It is unclear whether the crash was an assassination attempt or some other gesture with publicity rather than politics as a motive.
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