FRESNO, Calif. --
Trouble after takeoff led to a plane crash at Fresno Yosemite Airport Tuesday afternoon. The plane had one person on board when it left the Fresno airport just before 1 p.m. About a minute later it crashed just inside the airport gates at Chestnut and Dakota. Federal Investigators say the pilot told air traffic controllers he needed to return to the airport, but he didn't say why. Airport officials described his injuries as to the facial and head area. His condition is unknown.
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The Piper Tomahawk belongs to Mazzei Flying Service, a flight school located at the airport. A company official told Action News the pilot is a graduate of the school.
Several witnesses parked across the street from the airport say they heard what sounded like backfires just before the plane fell to the ground. The FAA and the NTSB are investigating the crash.