The pilot who crashed a plane into a Southern California home on Super Bowl Sunday -- killing himself and 4 people on the ground -- had a famous friend and client ... Dennis Hof.
75-year-old Antonio Pastini was best buds with the late brothel owner for 23 years ... according to our sources. We're told Tony frequently flew Dennis and his girlfriend in the same plane he was flying when it crashed into a Yorba Linda home where a Super Bowl party was being held.
As you can see, the tail number on the plane on which Dennis often flew ... matches the number on the wrecked fuselage on the site of the deadly crash.
Dennis and Tony's relationship extended beyond the skies ... we're told Tony owned the Carson City restaurant Kim Lee Sushi, where Dennis loved to hang out with the ladies from the Bunny Ranch.
During Dennis' 72nd birthday bash last October, days before his death, he shouted out Tony while making a speech.
Tony didn't only fly Dennis, we're told he flew Bunny Ranch girls for free if they paid for his fuel.
It's interesting ... we're told Tony had recently survived another incident in a different aircraft when he lost an engine, but was able to get it on the ground safely.