WEST CALDWELL, N.J. (AP) — Authorities say a pilot was killed when his small plane crashed shortly after taking off from a northern New Jersey airport.

West Caldwell police say the crash occurred shortly after 10 a.m. Saturday, about a half-mile from the Essex County Airport in Fairfield. The pilot was the only person aboard the single-engine Cessna 206 when it came down in a wooded area and burst into flames.

Authorities say the 50-year-old pilot was headed to nearby Teterboro Airport to pick up a passenger. But he reported “mechanical difficulties” moments before the crash occurred.

The pilot’s name has not been released.

The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

The crash caused some traffic delays in the area, as a stretch of Passaic Avenue was closed while the investigation was ongoing.

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