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Reports: Airplane runs off runway, catches fire

A local pilot was airlifted to the hospital Tuesday afternoon after his airplane collided with a stationary plane at the Nevada County Airpark, leading to a fire that damaged both aircraft and burned the pilot, officials said.

The pilot, in a single-engine, home-built Zodiac 601 HDS, ran off the runway about 4:30 p.m. for unknown reasons, officials said.

“It ended up in front of a stationary plane,” said Lee Ocker, the airport’s manager.

A fire erupted in the pilot’s plane that spread to the other aircraft, an unmanned twin-engine Cessna 441. The pilot then fled from his plane, and was conscious and alert when first-responders arrived, Ocker added.

The pilot’s plane had significant damage.

According to the FAA, the Zodiac’s registered owner is Van B. Anthony, of Grass Valley.

Ocker said he would contact officials with both the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board, the latter of which would send an investigative team.

The airport remained open after Tuesday’s crash.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.

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