Attempting to reach Aurora Airport, pilot makes emergency landing after plane catches fire

COURTESY PHOTO: MCSO - Eugene Mitchell, of Portland, made an emergency landing in a Marion County Field on Monday, July 16 after his plane caught fire in mid-air.After his plane caught fire mid-flight, Eugene Mitchell, 73, of Portland, decided to make an emergency landing in a field and then walked away from the scene with only minor injuries.

Emergency personnel were dispatched to the field in the area of Jordan St. SE and Howell Prairie Rd. SE in Marion County on Tuesday, July 16 at about 1:23 p.m.

When deputies from Marion County Sheriff's Office arrived, the plane was fully engulfed in flames, per the sheriff's office.

COURTESY PHOTO: MCSO - When police arrived, the plane was engulfed in flames.

Mitchell told police that while he was flying from the Albany area to the Aurora Airport, he experienced mechanical issues that led to the plane catching fire while he was in the air, prompting the emergency landing.

He was taken to a local hospital, where he was treated for his injuries and released.

Mitchell is a military veteran with flying experience dating back to Vietnam, police said.

Emergency services from Aumsville Fire District, Marion County District #1 and an ambulance from Santiam Hospital responded to the scene along with the sheriff's office.

Kristen Wohlers
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