2 people OK following Payson plane crash

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Smoke could be seen for miles from the crash. (Source: Brandon Paulson) Smoke could be seen for miles from the crash. (Source: Brandon Paulson)

Two people are OK following a small plane crash in Payson Sunday morning, according to the Gila County Sheriff's Office.

Just after 10:30 a.m., sheriff deputies received multiple calls regarding a plane crash near the Payson Airport.

GCSO officials said the plane had departed from Falcon Field in Mesa traveling to Payson.

The airplane was carrying a pilot and one passenger.

According to GCSO, the pilot reported some issues on his initial approach and elected to circle around for a second attempt in which the plane crashed before returning to the airport. 

The aircraft started on fire and was extinguished due to the fast response of the Forest Service fire crew.

The pilot was identified as 58-year-old David White and the passenger was identified as 56-year-old Derek White.

Both men were able to exit the aircraft and were treated on scene for minor injuries.

"We are grateful for the successful outcome of an event that could have been tragic for the pilot and his brother," said Gila County Sheriff J. Adam Shepherd. 

"But also for the rapid response of the Forest Service extinguishing the fire before it spread to the forest during this extreme fire season."

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating this crash.

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