The pilot of a homemade plane made an emergency landing on an abandoned airstrip near Gila River Memorial Airfield after the aircraft's engine failed on Thursday.
The plane's pilot, whose name was not released, was test-flying the single-engine, single-seat aircraft and safely landed it on an old abandoned airstrip near Old Price and Queen Creek roads on the Gila River Indian Community about 11:30 a.m., according to Gila River police Chief Ray Nejo.
The airstrip hasn't been used since World War II or the Korean War, Nejo said.
Nejo described the plane as a "kit plane."
"This is not like a Piper or a Cessna," Nejo said. "It's one of these build-it-yourself planes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don't. He was able to land the plane, and there was minimal damage done to it."
People saw the plane going down in that area and called Gila River police because that part of the airfield along 22022 S. Old Price Road is no longer in use, Nejo said. Gila River fire crews responded to the scene.
The Federal Aviation Administration has been notified as required, and they could take over the investigation, Nejo said.