CHANDLER, Ariz. — A World War II-era plane crashed today while attempting to land at a small suburban Phoenix airport, killing the pilot and starting a hangar on fire, authorities said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said the single-engine P-51D Mustang crashed at about 1:20 p.m. at Stellar Airpark in Chandler.
Authorities evacuated nearby hangars after one caught fire following the crash. The blaze was quickly extinguished, and fire crews sifted through the debris to determine if there were any other victims. None were found.
Gregor said the circumstances of the crash were unclear, but FAA investigators were en route to the airport.
Witnesses said the plane appeared to be coming in too fast for its attempted landing. It touched down short of the runway and cartwheeled into the hangar, they said.
Authorities and family members identified the pilot as Nazzi Hirani, a Chandler businessman who was in his 50s and had a collection of World War II airplanes. The plane that crashed was registered to Hirani Oil Arizona, a sales and property management company in Chandler.