According to a witness, the plane was being flown by its pilot when the pilot reported over the radio he was having oil pressure problems and was returning to the airport. Suddenly, the plane went into a spin and crashed into a canyon known as Smelter Wash.
The seventy-seven year old pilot from Oracle was the only person on board and he was killed instantly. His name is being withheld pending notification of next of kin.
The plane was described as a single engine Mustang II FB. The San Manuel Airport is approximately 45 miles northeast of Tucson.