Pilot burned in plane crash near Buckeye involved in another four months ago

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By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas
By Jennifer Thomas By Jennifer Thomas

BUCKEYE, Ariz. -- A crop-dusting plane crashed in the desert near Buckeye Thursday afternoon and authorities say it's not the first time the pilot has been involved in a crash.

The plane crashed as it was taking off from a private airstrip in the far West Valley just moments after the pilot had filled up with a fresh load of pesticides. It went down near Pecos and Tuthill roads, caught fire and was destroyed.

According to Capt. Jonathan Jacobs with the Phoenix Fire Department, the pilot suffered second- and third-degree burns to his chest, arms and face. He was transported to Maricopa Medical Center.

The pilot, identified only as a man in his 50s, was listed in critical but stable condition Thursday evening.

Because the pilot was covered with pesticides, hazardous materials crews were called in to help decontaminate the pilot, the helicopter crew and hospital personnel who treated the pilot.

The medical center did not have to close during the incident.

According to Maricopa County sheriff's Deputy J.D. Clancy, the same pilot flying a different plane was involved in a crash near the same airstrip in April. He was not hurt in that crash.