2 dead after small plane crashes in Arizona desert

September 17, 2022 GMT

DATELAND, Ariz. (AP) — Two people have died after a small plane crashed in the Arizona desert north of the U.S.-Mexico border and was engulfed in flames, authorities said Saturday.

The pilot and passenger in the single-engine plane were found dead Friday afternoon near Dateland, a small community east of Yuma that’s known for growing Medjool date trees, the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

The sheriff’s office said it’s working to notify family members of the pilot and passenger before releasing their identities.

It’s unclear what caused the crash, the office said. An Arizona state trooper first noticed a large plume of smoke while patrolling nearby and located the aircraft.

The sheriff’s office is investigating, along with the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board.

The plane was identified as a Van’s RV-6, which has two seats and generally is built from a kit.