Pilot involved in Allegheny County Airport plane fire dies

A pilot who was taken to the hospital after his plane caught on fire at the Allegheny County Airport has been pronounced dead.

Ira Saligman, 53, of the Philadelphia area, suffered burns to his body and face in the July 25 incident.

 He was taken to UPMC Mercy hospital in Pittsburgh, which has a burn unit.

Jeff Martinelli, of the Airport Authority, said the aircraft landed at the airport around 10 a.m.

According to WPXI, the pilot notified the tower of his landing when the privately owned plane was about 20 miles east of the airport.

The pilot apparently did not indicate there was an emergency or that he was in distress.  Martinelli said tower  personnel noticed flames coming from the plane once the pilot landed.

The airport was closed for a brief time, but reopened shortly after the pilot was taken to the hospital.

The cause of the fire remained under investigation.

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