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WEST CALDWELL — A pilot was injured Saturday afternoon after his plane crashed and exploded into flames near the Essex County Airport.

The Hawker Beachcraft Bonanza aircraft crashed about 12:45 p.m. in the woods nearly a mile south of the airport in Fairfield, an FAA spokesman said.

The pilot was the only person on board. The pilot's identity and the extent of the injuries were not immediately available Saturday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash and the National Transportation Safety Board was notified, the FAA spokesman said.

Greg Wilson witnessed the crash aftermath and captured the flaming wreckage on video, which shows emergency responders on scene.

Sergio Bichao is deputy digital editor at New Jersey 101.5. Send him news tips: Call 609-438-1015 or email

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