Officials: 1 killed in fiery plane crash near San Manuel Airport in southern Arizona

MAMMOTH, AZ - A pilot was killed in a plane crash in southern Arizona Thursday morning.

Ian Gregor with the Federal Aviation Administration said a single-engine, homebuilt Mustang II FB crashed in a canyon about two miles from San Manuel Airport in Mammoth before 9:30 a.m.

The accident occurred shortly after the plane departed from San Manuel. The pilot was reportedly planning on making a local flight and returning to San Manuel.

The Pinal County Sheriff's Office responded to the crash at the Smelter Wash north of the airport.

When deputies arrived at the scene, they located the plane which had caught fire after crashing.

According to a witness, the pilot reported over the radio he was having oil pressure problems and was returning to the airport.

PCSO said the plane suddenly went into a spin and crashed into the canyon.

The 77-year-old pilot from Oracle was the only person on board and he was killed instantly, according to PCSO.

His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.

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