Plane lands in Salem-area field after catching fire

A plane landed in a field after catching fire Tuesday afternoon. (courtesy Marion County Sheriff’s Office)

This article was updated at 5:45 p.m. with more information.

A plane crashed into a field 10 miles southeast of Salem Tuesday afternoon after its pilot made an emergency landing, Marion County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeremy Landers said.

The pilot, Eugene Mitchell, 73, of Portland, was able to escape the plane that was fully engulfed in flames and was taken to the hospital with nonlife-threatening injuries, Landers said in a press release.

Mitchell’s plane caught fire mid-air while he flew from near Albany to the Aurora Airport, according to Landers. Mechanical issues caught the fire, Landers said.

Sheriff’s deputies responded to the crash near Jordan Street Southeast and Howell Prairie Road Southeast around 1:23 p.m.


No one else was in the plane, Landers said.

Landers also noted that Mitchell is a military veteran, “with flying experience dating back to Vietnam.”

The Federal Aviation Administration and National Traffic Safety Board have been notified of the crash, Landers said.

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