Pilot lands, escapes small plane after it catches fire

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

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

The sheriff's office says when deputies arrived the plane was fully engulfed. The sheriff's office says 73-year-old Eugene Mitchell of Portland had been flying from the Albany area to the Aurora Airport.

He told deputies he was forced to make the landing after his plane caught fire in the air after experiencing mechanical issues.

The sheriff's office says he 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.