A plane has crashed roughly one mile south of the Madras airport, killing the person on board and igniting a brush fire, according to officials.
The plane crashed in Willow Creek Canyon near Bear Drive on Saturday just before 2 p.m., according to the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
A local farmer was on scene and fighting a small fire when emergency responders arrived at the scene, according to Julianne Repman, a spokesperson for the Central Oregon Joint Information Center.
The fire has been extinguished and officials said it is no longer a threat to the area.
Officials confirmed that the body of one person was found at the crash.
The Federal Aviation Administration and the National Transportation Safety Board have been notified of the crash. The Jefferson County Sheriff's Office is maintaining control of the scene at this time.
According to FAA records, the wrecked plane was a single-engine craft, model SR22, from Cirrus Design Corp. It's registered to Live Oak Advisors LLC, in Hillsborough, Calif.
Repman said it was one of hundreds of planes that flew into the region for the total solar eclipse.
Some 400 planes were planning to land at Madras Airport for the event, according to Lysa Vattimo, the lead eclipse planner for Madras. The airport usually does not have a control tower, but a mobile one was brought in for the eclipse.
Kurt Chapman, spokesman for the Joint Information Center for the Eclipse at Deschutes County, said he did not know the travel plans or direction of the plane.
A year ago, the pilot of a vintage biplane died at Madras airport while he was performing a low altitude loop as part of the Airshow of the Cascades. Pilot Marcus Bruce Paine, 61, crashed his Boeing Stearman on Aug. 27.
This year's airshow is Aug. 25 and 26.
It was initially reported that two people were killed in the crash, but the Central Oregon Emergency Information Network issued the following statement Monday morning:
County officials had initially stated there were two people aboard the plane who did not survive the crash. Jefferson County Sheriff Jim Adkins said emergency personnel worked late into the night and made contact with owners of the downed plan and now are certain only one person was on board. The aircraft was completely destroyed and had been engulfed by fire.
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