BATTLE CREEK (WWJ/AP) – Authorities say the pilot of a small plane has died after crashing at a southwestern Michigan airport.

The plane crashed just before 8 p.m. Thursday at Battle Creek’s W.K. Kellogg Airport, killing its lone occupant.

Witnesses say the plane had been practicing takeoffs and landings when it appeared to have a problem and crashed a short time later.

Police have identified the pilot as 48-year-old William Carlson Pergerson II, of Berrien Springs. The plane he was flying was described as a small, experimental aicraft.

Additional details of the accident were not immediately released. According to WWMT, Pergerson had landed the plane in the grass next to one of the runways and it instantly caught fire.

Officials from the Federal Aviation Administration are investigating the crash.

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