Two small planes collided and crashed yesterday near Los Angeles International Airport, narrowly missing a 650-room hotel, authorities said.

Three people were reported killed in the 2 p.m. collision and six on the ground were injured, two critically, authorities said.

Two of those injured had "very serious" burns, said a spokeswoman for Centinela Valley Hospital.

Identities of those killed were not immediately available. Two were in the plane that smashed down on busy Sepulveda Boulevard in front of the Hacienda Hotel, according to El Segundo Fire Department Battalion Chief Edler Thompson. The other was in the second craft, he said.

At San Diego the Federal Aviation Administration has begun an investigation into the latest near-collision -- the fourth reported in recent months -- involving airliners and small planes over San Diego.

A search was under way yesterday for an unidentified pilot whose Cessna reportedly came within 100 feet of a Pacific Southwest Airlines Boeing 727 jetliner descending for a landing last Sunday.

The incident "bore a striking resemblance to Flight 182" in which 144 people died when a PSA jetliner and a Cessna collided Sept. 25, 1978 over San Diego, Bill Hastings PSA spokesman, said. There were 84 people aboard the PSA jet.