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Pilot lands, escapes small plane after it catches fire

Authorities say a pilot was able to escape the single-engine plane he was flying after it caught fire and he made an emergency landing southeast of Salem.

Posted: Jul 16, 2019 4:08 PM
Updated: Jul 16, 2019 5:38 PM

SALEM, Ore. (AP) -- Authorities say a pilot was able to escape the single-engine plane he was flying after it caught fire and he made an emergency landing southeast of Salem.

The Marion County Sheriff's Office says emergency crews were sent to the plane crash in a farm field at about 1:23 p.m. Tuesday.

The sheriff's office says when deputies arrived the plane was engulfed in flames. The sheriff's office says the pilot, 73-year-old Eugene Mitchell of Portland, had gotten out and told deputies he was forced to make the landing after his plane caught fire in the air after experiencing mechanical issues. He was flying from the Albany area to the Aurora Airport at the time.

The sheriff's office says Mitchell, a veteran, was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not life threatening. No one else was in the plane.

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Traffic Safety Board have been notified.

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